ryanjamal

Dear FFG: O to Nerf an Ugnaut, Let Us Count the Ways

122 posts in this topic

So, the same list won both the North American and Nationals tourneys (Gen Con and Nova), and it featured the controversial Ugnaut swarm: 4 rUgnauts, 2eUgnauts, Iggy, and Onar.

 

If you haven’t played against this list, you may be wondering what the fuss is about.  The problem is several fold, IMO.  First, the list allows for a player to risk nothing with their attacks.  The junk droid can be in your deployment zone from across the map by its second activation, so if you ignore it, your support units will soon die during round one, perhaps before they move.  All of this happens without the Ugnauts having to expose themselves at all.  The second issue is that it becomes more powerful the closer you come: you’re more in range of the junk droid, so it can reach you quicker, and if you’re in sight and range of the Ugnaut, you can be attacked three times in a single activation (once with the junk droid, assuming it’s been spawned, a second time with the Ugnaut, who will also respawn the junk droid, and then the new junk droid can attack again).  Iggy and Onar balance out the list perfectly with their high health and damage output, and also because they also grow more powerful as you get closer. 

 

It just isn’t a very fun list to play against.  I enjoy losing to lists that I feel outplay mine, or when I feel it comes down to the dice gods, but I personally do not enjoy losing to this list.  It takes away many of the things I love most about my Imperial Assault play experiences.

 

There are some things that help in countering the Ugnaut swarm, but I think down the line the Ugnaut might be nerfed.  And here I stress might.  It’s a bit early to think about nerfs, but I’m curious what nerfs could come out that would reign the unit back fairly.  It may never get nerfed, but it might be interesting to speculate, so here goes:

 

1. Limit the number of regular Ugnauts you can have in an arm to two. 

Would this be enough?  You still have the issue of the Ugnaut killing back-row support units potentially the first round, but this way targeting the junk droid makes more sense because it will get fewer activations, and you might have enough time to get into their deployment zone to slaughter some of the Ugnauts before it get’s too horrible.

 

2. Rule that the junk droid can only activate after the Ugnaut.

This would mean that the junk droid could only activate once per deployment card.  That seems fair to me.

 

3. Rule that the junk droid can’t interact or be counted for the purpose of control.

The junk droid is super powerful on missions like Raining Freight on Nal Hutta.  Some might even say too powerful J

 

4. Cast the Ugnaut back into the fiery chasm from whence it came!

Lol J

 

What do you guys think?  Do any of these sound fair (by themselves or combined)?  Any other suggestions?

 

NOTE: The purpose of this thread is fun speculation about junk droid nerfs.  The purpose of this thread is NOT to insult specific players who used this list.  Please adhere to this.  This is a great corner of the internet where we come together around this passion of ours without the normal horrors of the comment section; let’s keep it that way J

 

-ryanjamal

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6 minutes ago, Deadfool said:

Would you like to show us on the doll where the Ugnauts touched you?

Lol, I suppose I come off as salty. I wasn't at either of those tourneys, so it didn't affect me at all. I just like speculation :-)

-ryanjamal 

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1 hour ago, ryanjamal said:

3. Rule that the junk droid can’t interact or be counted for the purpose of control.

The Junk Droid cannot interact right now, because companions cannot interact.

Not being counted for the purposes of control could be added to the companion rules.

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1 hour ago, Deadfool said:

Would you like to show us on the doll where the Ugnauts touched you?

Right *here* (points to victory point counter). Two of my three nationals losses were to six Ugnaught lists. One was a downright NPE; the other player was really cool so I had a blast playing him even while getting curb-stomped.

Full disclosure: I had an Ugnaught in my list. One.

One activation per junk droid might make sense -- or at a bare, bare minimum one activation per junk  droid per Ugnaught (the "activate junk droid, move/attack, Spot weld, activate junk droid, move/attack, Overclock to attack" cheese has to die). 

The "Junk Droid Roomba" running around hoovering up crates in "Raining Freight" felt kind of dirty, too, since that mission doesn't require interaction with a crate to pick it up.  That's more a problem with the mission design than the companion rules, though.

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1. I think that's probably the best way to do it, though that would piss off people who bought a second bespin for purposes of running the swarm. I don't see it happening. 

2. Interesting, but this really cuts into the value of the swarm. I don't want anything to be nerfed into oblivion (Royal Guards) ever again. Maybe do this for the regulars only?

3. As @a1bert mentioned above, they can't interact. Junk droid is great on the freight mission because it's written so that you can claim a crate by spending movement. I don't think a general companion nerf to control abilities would be good. For some companions, that's nearly the only value they have.

Edited by Fightwookies
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Actually, I haven't played the swarm with Jabba on the opposing side of the map, yet. But I would expect to see the point dial go up pretty fast ...

Any experience on that?

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4 minutes ago, DerBaer said:

Actually, I haven't played the swarm with Jabba on the opposing side of the map, yet. But I would expect to see the point dial go up pretty fast ...

Any experience on that?

Jabba helps but it's no guarantee because you still burn your activations killing the droid.

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Just now, Trudem said:

Jabba helps but it's no guarantee because you still burn your activations killing the droid.

Yeah, if you burn a 4- or 6-point figure's precious attack on a nothing figure, the one point you gain doesn't outweigh the cost of losing that attack. And plus there are five other activations :-)

-ryanjamal 

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3 minutes ago, DerBaer said:

Actually, I haven't played the swarm with Jabba on the opposing side of the map, yet. But I would expect to see the point dial go up pretty fast ...

Any experience on that?

DTdanix has been running the swarm for a while (before all this forum hype at least), and he claims that he'll gladly sacrifice the Jabba pts you'd get for the junk droid if he still gets map control, aka, objective control. I tend to agree. If you are wasting an attack on the junk droid to amass 1 pt each time, you aren't paying attention to IG and Onar creeping up to destroy you.

I've played against the tink swarm once on Nall Hutta with reigning freight. Now i also believe that i had all things going for me....eRangers and 2xeQuays, and the maps side that actually offers cover. Was able to take out a couple tinks and Onar really quickly, but I don't know that most lists will be able to do that. And it was his first time playing the tink swarm, so learning curve. 

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Always take a C3PO-head to a game and throw it 6 spaces at the closest Ugnaught. An Ugnaught with C3PO's head cannot take any action during his activation other than throwing C3PO's head up to 6 spaces to another Ugnaught in line of sight. If no other Ugnaught is close enough, he has to move as close as possible to the nearest Ugnaught in line of sight.

 

Edited by Fourtytwo

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3 minutes ago, Fourtytwo said:

Always take a C3PO-head to a game and throw it 6 spaces at the closest Ugnaught. An Ugnaught with C3PO's head cannot take any action during his activation other than throwing C3PO's head up to 6 spaces to another Ugnaught. If no other Ugnaught is close enough, he has to move as close as possible to the nearest Ugnaught in line of sight.

Run Chewie. 

Special Action: Spend two actions to distract all Ugnauts on the board. Neither you nor any of the Ugnauts may perform any other actions this round. 

-ryanjamal 

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I remember the "Can ugnaughts be good" thread. I first read it when I started prepping for competitive play. The realization that this is what the designers claim to have intended when they made this figure was a struggle. I drank heavily that evening and felt like I just found out Darth Vader was my father.

A long discussion took place within my play group. My simple fix is that the junk droid should now read: Newton's Bane: "the junk droid can no longer inexplicably violate the laws of thermodynamics". Where exactly does the old droid go post spot weld? It vanishes into nothingness and pops up halfway across the map? This is nonsense in the highest degree. The ugnaughts must have discovered the unifying theory and harnessed things we don't even understand about particle physics. Or are we toying with the bold assertion that universal constants are not constant across the universe?

It was gently pointed out to me that the droid is losing connection with the ugnaught and that a new one is being assembled and placed into play. So where are my scrap heap tokens? How are these droids made so quickly... are they just carrying the raw material on their backs? Either way the board should be a junk droid graveyard full of "abandoned junk droid" tokens. 

I'll reign it in. Suffice it to say, even before the recent competitive successes I have harbored a singular dislike for the ugnaught figures that developed long before I ever had the displeasure of sitting across the table from their reality crushin little piggy faces.

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33 minutes ago, seef1033 said:

The ugnaughts must have discovered the unifying theory and harnessed things we don't even understand about particle physics. Or are we toying with the bold assertion that universal constants are not constant across the universe?

Not only that. Faster-than-light-travel is possible - without any time dilation at all! So I guess Ugnauts conjuring droids out of thin air is not that weird at all... :lol:

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Since my first post earlier, this topic has been itching my brain in a negative way. I understand that some players that just don't care for the ugnaught mechanic. There must be 50 threads on this forum where ways to nerf weequays are suggested. Now, the tinkerer horde has won a couple of tournaments and "oh my god we need to nerf the ugnaughts".  Just because they won a couple of events doesn't mean their overpowered. I know this isn't the way @ryanjamal is thinking, but complaints like that the figure is overpowered seems like a subtle way to discredit the players that used the figure efficiently to win. It's a good figure, but those players had to play really well with the list to survive and win. Again, I understand that some people just don't care for the thematics or mechanics of the junk droid, but I don't think it's overpowered for competitive play. The swarm is good, but it takes skill to play and it can be taken down by someone with a good list, a plan, or maybe even just a little luck. 

Edited by Fightwookies

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29 minutes ago, Fightwookies said:

I understand players that just don't care for the ugnaught mechanic, but the underplaying topic of this thread is itching my brain in a negative way. There must be 50 threads on this forum where ways to nerf weequays are suggested. Now, the tinkerer horde has won a couple of tournaments and "oh my god we need to nerf the ugnaughts".  I understand if you don't personally like the thematics or mechanics of the junk droid, but I don't think it's overpowered for competitive play. The swarm is good, but it takes skill to play and it can be taken down by someone with a good list, a plan, or maybe even just a little luck. 

You are right. I also wasn't playing the game at the time when the "4x4" etc was going on so I can't and won't compare this and speculate on whether it needs to be nerfed.

What I see is a game mechanic receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback. I happen to very much dislike it myself. Some of what people are saying about weequays is the same and some is different. 

All I can say is I don't think competitive play exists entirely in a vacuum. It's not good when a high volume of skilled players who have won and lost games before sit there after a game and honestly reflect on how little fun they had with the mechanic.

Anyway, as you know tinkerers have been a pet dislike of mine longer than they have been winning big tournaments. Just seizing the moment when other people talk about their horribleness... as we all know the game is still awesome.

Edited by seef1033

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I've only played a version of the Ug list that had 3 Tinkerers totting about, but I found it to be quite disruptive to the normal flow of play, and I think that maybe that is primarily why people don't enjoy it (at least, it was for me). If you look at Brett Kelly's article about his lists, a few of his games were quite close- so the list clearly isn't THAT OP. And credit is due where credit is due- the winners deserved their wins for fantastic, consistent play. When I played against the list, I lost on Jabba's Realm on the crate mission and it came down to him killing one of my guys to nab a slight point swing that won him the game 32-30 (and I was playing Imperials w/ Jets, Heavy Troopers, BT1, etc). 

It does seem like the missions where he can pick up crates would dominate- stuff like Nal Hutta Raining Freight seems way outta hand- and since that map is going to be around about another year, either the junk droid or the mission rules need to be modified or something because it feels...a little lopsided?

Regardless, it's not (as) fun to play against because it disrupts the flow of the game because it takes away the "chess like" feel of IA. The back and forth of you move, then I move, gives you that satisfaction of back and forth like in a game of ping pong. And that's part of why IA is so fun (plus the bluffing, and then those crazy moments where the game comes down to this one in a million dice roll or set of command cards in a row, etc etc etc I'm preaching to the choir).  Tucking in 2/3 figs in one isn't  the problem because we see that with Troopers, Pirates, etc. and no one is bothered by that- it's the "low risk" element of the junk droid, and the feeling of powerlessness/meaningless in dealing with him. It feels like slicing through fog with a sword. And since you are sitting around and your opponent is doing tons of things, you don't get that chess back and forth like feel- it's abrasive. 

I do wish that defense could get buffed, in general, in the meta. The ability to repair and block more attacks should be a viable route. "Defense wins championships?" 

I love this game. I honestly don't care whether they nerf/buff Ugs or not, just give us other good stuff so that another 4x4 doesn't take over the meta.

 

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1 hour ago, seef1033 said:

You are right. I also wasn't playing the game at the time when the "4x4" etc was going on so I can't and won't compare this and speculate on whether it needs to be nerfed.

What I see is a game mechanic receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback. I happen to very much dislike it myself. Some of what people are saying about weequays is the same and some is different. 

All I can say is I don't think competitive play exists entirely in a vacuum. It's not good when a high volume of skilled players who have won and lost games before sit there after a game and honestly reflect on how little fun they had with the mechanic.

Anyway, as you know tinkerers have been a pet dislike of mine longer than they have been winning big tournaments. Just seizing the moment when other people talk about their horribleness... as we all know the game is still awesome.

Yup. All valid points. The game is primarily supposed to be fun. I'll listen to any complaints that the swarm is just not fun and that the junk droid mechanic is weird and not really intuitive. I don't think its overpowered though just because it has won a couple of events. If they wanted to make a change to the way the junk droid activated (only after the ugnaught), they'd have to make other changes to the figure also to keep it balanced. If you limit it to one activation, you'd have to increase its attack output significantly to keep it balanced. I don't know if a junk droid attacking with a red/green melee attack is anymore thematic.

 

TLDR: lots of people hate ugnaughts for lots of reasons. That's fine, my only point is that I don't think they're overpowered.

 

Edited by Fightwookies

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I honestly said to people when the droid wave came out that if ugnaut lists become popular, I'm going to stop playing.  It is by far the single most frustrating list in my opinion.  As people have said, it is good, but not like, "omg nothing can beat this op nerf plox".  But I play in the tournaments to have fun and try to win in equal parts.  If you take away half of my reason for being there, then I'm not going to be there.  I would honestly rather have a focused Onar with assassinate, tools for the job, heightened reflexes one shot my darth vader than face ugnaut swarms.

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I think a big reason double eWeeq is more popular in tournaments right now than Ugnaughts, is that
a) not all people have 6 Ugnaughts (and possibly harder to loan than just an eWeeq card) and
b) they might not find Ugnaughts fun.
Otherwise we might have seen even more Ugnaughts. Personally I like it better to play with/against eWeeq, even though I think they might be slightly overtuned too.

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7 minutes ago, Soulflame said:

I think a big reason double eWeeq is more popular in tournaments right now than Ugnaughts, is that
a) not all people have 6 Ugnaughts (and possibly harder to loan than just an eWeeq card) and
b) they might not find Ugnaughts fun.
Otherwise we might have seen even more Ugnaughts. Personally I like it better to play with/against eWeeq, even though I think they might be slightly overtuned too.

That's fair.

what is it that you like better about them than eQuays?

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Actually I like eWeeq better (hope I worded it correctly in my post), which I think most would agree with as it is not 'a silly droid killing everything' and something that really looks like it is not really possible in the theme (whereas eWeeq being slightly overtuned is easier to fit in the world of Star Wars).

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13 minutes ago, Soulflame said:

Actually I like eWeeq better (hope I worded it correctly in my post), which I think most would agree with as it is not 'a silly droid killing everything' and something that really looks like it is not really possible in the theme (whereas eWeeq being slightly overtuned is easier to fit in the world of Star Wars).

Ah, I just misread. My natural inclination was to study you like if I saw Bigfoot or a unicorn. 

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