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ThatJakeGuy

Nal Hutta Swamps Opinions

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I have seen a large amount of hate on these forums for the Nal Hutta Swamps map ever since its release. Honestly, I’m not getting the hate, so please help me understand. Now that we’ve had almost 5 months of play time on it, I have but a simple question:

What are your thoughts on Nal Huttas Swamp? If you dislike it, why? What specifically about this map invokes your ire?

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I'm mostly indifferent and would prefer that a new fun map replaces it.

 

The thing i like the least about Nal Hutta is the reigning freight mission gives some advantages to the ugnaught swarm.

Second, less important factor to me is the inequity of deployment zones. One has some cover, the other has none. deployment zones are never perfectly equal and that is part of the strategy, but I don't have to like it, lol.

Third, the rules for the scenarios are fairly close to Jabba's Palace. It feels a little bit like just more of the same. 4 points to control an area, 2 points to pick up a crate. They differ just enough to cause confusion even with experienced players. Ex: Junk droid can pick up a crate on reigning freight Nal Hutta, but can't on spoils of crime Jabba's palace.

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My big reason is that it is another step the wrong way from helping make melee relevant (though I did play a triple nexu vs. a junk droid list on that map in that last store champ and won but that's proving the point of most melee not being relevant since nexu have 6 speed, pounce and beast tamer). 

More recent tourney tried out a more brawler themed list and won first two games then played on nal hutta against e sentries and got wrecked quickly. Just couldn't get close to them and couldn't hide enough to make a difference. 

I also really don't like the deployment zones at all but the one with the blocking terrain near the front is horrible. Especially if you want to run a list with Hera - that's an exercise in frustration. 

All that to say, I think the map pushes people towards snipers and hunters as more safe choices. If it had two corridors that were sniper friendly and two that were somehow made for brawlers to run up I would love the map. 

I also agree with fightwookies on the similarity of missions. 

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I don't mind it, but really haven't played a ton competitively. The crates get old after a while and there has to be another type of scenario.  I feel like they are almost all the same though.Control this. Retrieve that.

I think the deployment zones are worse than average but depending on the list, can be mitigated.

A friend of mine doesn't like the lack of doors and the fact that it is so wide open.

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I kinda like the control mission. I think the shield thing is cool. Do you close in to get a better shot, but also get closer to the enemy or do you keep at range and allow for the surge cancel. I don't much like the raining freight either - it's kinda weird the way you just run up and ****** the tokens no control or use of action or anything.

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I dislike it for a lot of the reasons listed above.  My main complaint is that it feels like all the risks are taken by the deployment zone at the top, with few if any taken by the bottom zone.  There is no cover for the top, anywhere, barring a force jump to tuck yourself inside the corner by the crate near the elevation line.  If you're facing Rangers or Iggy or any sniper units (or focused eQuays), you don't have any good options.  Many of those figures can fire into your deployment zone (I actually move my weaker units in front as a body shield--not really an interesting strategy for me).  Worse, the bottom zone has great cover for them to be able to pop out and snipe and then hide again.  So, if I move forward and close ranks, I'm exposed no matter what lane I take.  Granted, in some places I can tuck someone away and force my opponent out into the open to take his shot, but still there remains the issue that all of my options are risky, whereas almost none of his are--at least at first. 

The other issue I dislike (that also causes imbalance) is the size of the map.  The four different lanes are much harder for the top deployment to get to, causing a double move in some cases, but someone can sit by the terminal in the bottom zone and cover three different lanes, immediately becoming relevant to a skirmish in any of those lanes as long as it's ranged.  But if you send somone to the far right lane from the top, he can be removed from the fray for an entire turn or two.

I also dislike the Raining Freight mission, mainly because it becomes too easy to rack up too many points at the end of games, making initiative even more important that it already was.  Last night, I managed to win against a Rangers and Han list (who held the bottom zone, so I'm not arguing that any of these issues make games a foregone conclusion), but the ending was a bit anti-climactic.  I had him down to a wounded Ranger and Gideon.  I had Han (with only five health left), Gideon, and Chopper.  The score was 27-34 at the start of the round.  I had initiative and so I just sucked up three crates and won, which was really easy because I could place two crates right next to me at the end of the previous round (because at the end of games, when do you not have someone within three spaces of an enemy figure?).

I would have much preferred being forced to shoot and try to kill the Ranger, and then maybe pick up a single crate for the win.  But at the end of games it just gets too easy to pull this off.

So, that's why I don't like it :-)  I do like some of its openness, and I've had great games on it, but it definitely isn't my favorite and I'll be happy to see it gone.

-ryanjamal

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I would say I like the shielded mission except when I'm facing Jets- double Jets can get really oppressive on that mission (especially with Vader/Palp- oh man they are strong on that mission imo) at times with their crazy movement shenanigans. And of course melee figures have a much better shot on the shielded mission. The crate mission rewards high speed figures (anything 5 speed or Ugs) and of course ranged figures like Ranger/Weeq/Sentries and I find the placement interesting, but it *can* lead to some serious analysis paralysis by the 3rd round figuring out where to place the crates (of course depending on the board state). I feel like a lot of games are won and lost here with the placement of crates (I've been on both sides of it myself).  I honestly still am perplexed by this map. There are so many places to put figures and that can overwhelm people (especially since there are very few "safe" spots to hide) . I just think it was annoying how similar the missions are compared to the Jabba map (take crates/control a 4 point objective), but on the same token I think there is enough of a twist on them that they play very different.

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What I do like: the dropping crates mission is way more fun/interesting than the pick up crates on jabba's realm - as long as you're not playing against junk droids. At least in theory it's a cool idea you have to put the crates back out and closer to your opponent's figures - which theoretically helps draw each other's figures closer to each other or you can use it to tempt an opponent figure farther away from you for two points. 

 

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Hm, I'm going to offer a countering opinion here: I've been playing melee a lot recently (Gammoreans, Nexus, Vader, and Riots primarily), and I've rarely found Nal Hutta to be an issue.  General strategy is to activate my supports first, and then run my other figures up later.

In the Shield side, my opponent faces a choice: accept -1 surge (in which case my tanky figures usually need at least three attacks, or two attacks + used-up Command cards to kill), or move up themselves to shoot at closer range and/or contest the shields with me (in which case we're now at melee range next round anyway).

On the Crate side, I tend to just run up my melee characters, sometimes with a bump from officers, and nab at least two or three crates in the first round.  I'll take some damage, and may even lose a figure in the process, but if I'm careful I've still gained more points than they have.  --And if my opponent actually beats me to one or two of those objectives--well, then they haven't shot at me, and we're now well-positioned for a melee slugfest next round.

Yes, the advantage is to long-range figures on Nal Hutta--but in my experience nowhere near as much as people seem to be claiming.  Another point: my melee figs *want* to charge forward to close the gap.  On Nal Hutta, they're often rewarded in VPs for doing what I rather want to do with them anyway.  Ranged figs are often statted and best-played by moving out, sniping, and ducking to hide again--not a good way to earn those VPs.

TL/DR: In my experience, if I play to the objectives, and play a different game from the snipe-and-retreat mode ranged figs require, then I have a more-than-decent chance of winning the mission with my tanky melee figs.

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What's that list look like in general? I get what you're saying...I enjoyed my triple nexu list with some sniping support and onar. It definitely played different. And my last more melee list just may not have been well optimized and I might have actually had a chance if I'd turtled more first round and just waited until I could get something more out of an engage second round than I did trying to squeeze something in end of first round (had a bantha and didn't want to get nothing out of it at all/hoping for a jundland or take initiative).

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Well, I won a Store Championship a short while ago with 2x eGammoreans, 2x eNexus, Jabba, rHired Guns, Black Market, and Beast Tamer--and that was before the latest wave and those additional melee-friendly cards were released!  I wrote a post about it here somewhere. : )  Just last weekend, I won another Quarterly tournament using Vader w/Hatred, 2x eRiot Troopers, eSentry Droids, rOfficer, and Zillo.  In both tournaments, I faced the 'standard' Merc Hunters and Luke Rangers lists.

Some of the local players are very good; many of my games were very close, and hard-fought.  I don't want it to sound like I win every tournament I play these lists in!  --I do tend to place well, though, and that just wouldn't happen if melee characters were truly crippled in the current meta.

Edited by IndyPendant

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I HATE it. However the reason is not snipers being overpowered. I played close combat list (ejets), and I had no problems with eRanger listsfor the reasons mentioned by IndyPendant. The problem is, that all the games were very similiar and boring. I had one maybe two viable openings (basicly rush forward to get some cover and shields protection preferably with fuel upgrade for additional evades), which I had to use to avoid being oblitareted round 1 whil still being close enough to deal any damage round 2. Then it was just straightforward slug-fest with my fingers crossed, hoping, that I won't catch any nasty CC combo-breaker. Just couldn't get fun out of it :(.

 

On the other hand, games I played on this map versus non sniper lists (of course considering weequays snipers) were GREAT, unfortunately this kind of match-up is not very likely, so I won't take it into consideration.

 

 

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I love Shielded. Unlike other players on the forum, I actually think the top deployment zone has substantial advantages, particularly if you have a mobile unit (or Ahsoka). You're able to contest all four objectives much more easily, and you can use the corners just outside the main combat area to hide your units behind. I find area control missions tend to be simple, and almost always successful. To Your Stations! is my favourite tournament map of all time, for reference.

However, Reining Freight is such an odd mission, and I don't really understand what they were trying to do with the design. Honestly, it just seems poorly thought out. What kind of gameplay is reining freight supposed to promote?

 

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12 minutes ago, theaficionado said:

However, Reining Freight is such an odd mission, and I don't really understand what they were trying to do with the design. Honestly, it just seems poorly thought out. What kind of gameplay is reining freight supposed to promote?

I think the idea was to force the two armies together over objectives, since you're forced to place crates near your opponent's figures, but you get to strategically place them, which is maybe more interesting than static objectives. But the junk droid being able to get 60+ movement points per turn was a HUGE oversight in the mission's design. Actually, they can get 104 movement points in a turn without any extra cards, though you're better off attacking than only moving.

Edited by turkishvancat

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1 hour ago, theaficionado said:

You're able to contest all four objectives much more easily, and you can use the corners just outside the main combat area to hide your units behind. 

What corners do you mean? If you’re contesting objectives, I can shoot you with my Rangers (well, I’m not running Rangers right now, but if I were) at all four. And even if you aren’t contesting objectives, there’s only one corner you can get to that I can’t shoot at turn one (the one by the elevation line). 

Edit: Actually, scratch that. I remembered the map wrong. I can see that corner too. Nowhere is safe ? ?

-ryanjamal 

Edited by ryanjamal

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3 hours ago, theaficionado said:

However, Reining Freight is such an odd mission, and I don't really understand what they were trying to do with the design. Honestly, it just seems poorly thought out. What kind of gameplay is reining freight supposed to promote?

The "how quickly can I figure out how to get 40 points with all these pudu crates everywhere" gameplay. :)

I don't mind Nal Hutta. Like @IndyPendant, I've had some success with a Brawler list vs. opponent's Hunters, but I definitely needed to make sure my Brawler list had extra movement options (rOfficers) and could survive a pot-shot while advancing. (Prior to HotE, I think trying to run Brawlers on Nal Hutta was really difficult -- though I never thought of running dual eWARPIGS and dual eNexu.)

Running a long-ranged Hunter list can be difficult if you don't have anybody to contest generators or crates -- I lost a game on Nal Hutta because my double eWeequay/Onar/Vinto list didn't have enough figures to contest generators and I panicked and ran Vinto super far away from the rest of the army to contest generators. 

I think the key to Nal Hutta is to study Nal Hutta and find the places where your figures can advance and be safe... and learn when those places stop being safe. In past tourney maps, there's at least one door where your army can stage behind, allowing you to choose when to open and engage. With no doors, you have to be more adaptable in round 1 than probably any other map -- causing your first few activations to be either super-aggressive or almost completely passive. 

Edited by cnemmick
Thanks, HotE!

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2 hours ago, ryanjamal said:

What corners do you mean? If you’re contesting objectives, I can shoot you with my Rangers (well, I’m not running Rangers right now, but if I were) at all four. And even if you aren’t contesting objectives, there’s only one corner you can get to that I can’t shoot at turn one (the one by the elevation line). 

Edit: Actually, scratch that. I remembered the map wrong. I can see that corner too. Nowhere is safe ? ?

-ryanjamal 

Sure, it is possible to take shots on the first round. However, with the shields up they won't be GOOD shots, and your dudes will be out of position for the next round. Alternatively, you send people to contest and not fall 16 points behind. Congrats, you're right where the close range list wants you to be.

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On 12/6/2017 at 11:08 AM, ThatJakeGuy said:

I have seen a large amount of hate on these forums for the Nal Hutta Swamps map ever since its release. Honestly, I’m not getting the hate, so please help me understand. Now that we’ve had almost 5 months of play time on it, I have but a simple question:

What are your thoughts on Nal Huttas Swamp? If you dislike it, why? What specifically about this map invokes your ire?

You know it's funny. I can't even remember why I don't like it anymore. It started off that I didn't like that there were no doors or many hidey holes. Then it turned into that it favoured snipers, especially alliance rangers. However, I played my Jet list against an Alliance Ranger list at Nationals and beat it by running up close as fast as possible. I took some collateral damage. So, I suppose if my jet list can beat a ranger list on this map, rangers can't be that overpowered on it. 

22 hours ago, Fightwookies said:

Third, the rules for the scenarios are fairly close to Jabba's Palace. It feels a little bit like just more of the same. 4 points to control an area, 2 points to pick up a crate. They differ just enough to cause confusion even with experienced players. Ex: Junk droid can pick up a crate on reigning freight Nal Hutta, but can't on spoils of crime Jabba's palace.

What he said. 

 

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10 minutes ago, ThatJakeGuy said:

Sure, it is possible to take shots on the first round. However, with the shields up they won't be GOOD shots, and your dudes will be out of position for the next round. Alternatively, you send people to contest and not fall 16 points behind. Congrats, you're right where the close range list wants you to be.

You're correct. I think people forget that the shields are your friend. That's exactly what I did at Nationals. :P

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1 hour ago, ThatJakeGuy said:

Sure, it is possible to take shots on the first round. However, with the shields up they won't be GOOD shots, and your dudes will be out of position for the next round. Alternatively, you send people to contest and not fall 16 points behind. Congrats, you're right where the close range list wants you to be.

Yeah, and for that reason I vastly prefer Shielded. But my issue here is that I think the top side has to take way more risks than the bottom. There are definitely winning strategies (like what you mentioned), but the map feels imbalanced in a bad way to me. 

-ryanjamal 

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15 minutes ago, ryanjamal said:

Yeah, and for that reason I vastly prefer Shielded. But my issue here is that I think the top side has to take way more risks than the bottom. There are definitely winning strategies (like what you mentioned), but the map feels imbalanced in a bad way to me. 

-ryanjamal 

I almost always start from the top (heck, I even choose to sometimes just because I got so used to starting there) and have had very few issues. It all comes down to using the terrain to your advantage and to bait the opposing units into the positions you want them in.

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14 hours ago, ryanjamal said:

Yeah, and for that reason I vastly prefer Shielded. But my issue here is that I think the top side has to take way more risks than the bottom. There are definitely winning strategies (like what you mentioned), but the map feels imbalanced in a bad way to me. 

-ryanjamal 

The most akward situation takes place when sniper list starts at bottom spawn (which happens all the time with devious scheme ;D). Basicly all you have to do is hide your snipers behind the hill on the right and roll dice :P

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On 12/7/2017 at 6:43 AM, theaficionado said:

However, Reining Freight is such an odd mission, and I don't really understand what they were trying to do with the design. Honestly, it just seems poorly thought out. What kind of gameplay is reining freight supposed to promote?

*tin-foil*

Somebody at FFG really loves their ugnaughts, and I can't help but think this mission was designed and added to the rotation to force the ugnaughts into the meta.

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