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Alternative Play Format: Objectives for X-Wing

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4 hours ago, Rexler Brath said:

This is exactly my point.  X-Wing has many different architypes.  Changing the objective of the game doesn't fix the real problem which is balance.  

Fortressing is a symptom of balance, not the problem.  Running away to regen shields is not a problem, its a sympton of balance.  Putting points into hard to kill ships is not the problem, its the symptom of balance.  Do you see why adding objectives doesn't solve the base problem?

I think there will be just as much imbalance to objective based games as standard; probably more since FFG balances their game around standard.  The reason is that x-wing is so diverse (50+ ships, hundreds of pilots and hundreds of upgrade cards).  Its impossible to balance a game by changing the format.  

I am all for alternative formats but am not pleased this is being promoted for competitive play.  The authors believe that standard format is broken and this is their fix.  But as I have described, its not a fix at all.  One of the things that makes x-wing great is the standard format for competitive play.  They are attempting to compete with standard format on the tournament level which I think is unhealthy for x-wing in general.  Hypothetically, if this format dominates the competitive scene, we will be right back here 1 or 2 years later because the core problem was never addressed.   I think this sort of effect will turn people off of playing competitive.

If a format is really good, there is no need to promote it competitively.  It will naturally take over.  But its the ego of the developers that is pushing this forward, not the love of the game.  They have made it very clear that they dislike standard x-wing format, they think its broken beyond fixing.  But they are not professional developers and fail to understand the real problem with ALL formats.  And that is balance.  They do not address balance in their format.

 

I don't recall them every stating that balance was a design goal of this new format, nor have they claimed this is any kind of "fix" at all .  Their goal is to add incentives to avoid certain negative play experience play styles. 

In fact you're completely ignoring what is probably the most important design goal, and that is compatibility with standard 100 point builds.  When you show up for game night with your standard 100 point build, it works in this new format unchanged, which is important when someone else suggests to play this and you didn't bring anything but your 100 point build.  Not everyone lugs around their entire collection when they show up to game night, and not everyone wants to try to build new squad lists on the fly for a format they hadn't thought about when all they want to do is sit down with what they want to fly and play.  This new objective format doesn't have any issues with this.  Just sit down and play with what you brought.  Even if your build is not necessarily optimal for the format, your build still works and functions as you have already practiced unchanged. 

One problem that most other alternate formats for X Wing have is non-compatibility with standard 100 point squads due to ban lists, list building rules, drafts, card text rewrites, or point value changes.  Any or all of these are useful, in fact are actually required, for addressing the balance of the game, but since they break compatibility with standard 100 point squads they drastically increase the barrier to entry.  It is obviously why you don't see any of them taking off in popularity. 

 

23 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Fortressing at objective points is a good way to win.  Tanky builds will still rule the world here.  Same for regen.

 

How do you exactly escort crates across the board while fortressing? 

How do you use the fly away and regen strategy while denying your opponent control of 1 or more control points? 

 

41 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Play testers are not the same as game developers.  Do you have evidence that 50+ people all worked on the rules?  Is there a github repo with all of the contributors commits for instance?

The new format doesn't fix the fotressing, regen, and tanky builds problem.  These elements will all exist in the objective based game because they are inherent in the core game mechanics.

The new format doesn't "fix" anything, it just makes these things not necessarily winning strategies in all 6 objectives, and if they are only good for some objectives but poor in others then you're not looking at a good build for the format. 

Edited by Joe Censored

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1 minute ago, Joe Censored said:

In fact you're completely ignoring what is probably the most important design goal, and that is compatibility with standard 100 point builds.  When you show up for game night with your standard 100 point build, it works in this new format unchanged, which is important when someone else suggests to play this and you didn't bring anything but your 100 point build.

Except they ban cards so your perfectly legit 100pt list won't work in their format.  Han Solo for instance.  Not to mention, a dog fighting list won't be optimal for this.  Instead you just need tanky turrets that fortress and that is the new OP.

 

3 minutes ago, Joe Censored said:

How do you exactly escort crates across the board while fortressing? 

4 out of 5 objects are area control.  So 4 out of 5 games you can easily fotress the objective point.

 

4 minutes ago, Joe Censored said:

How do you use the fly away and regen strategy while denying your opponent control of 1 or more control points? 

Control Points don't make sense in this game what-so-ever.  Unless you fortress the points of course.  One can still regen away by circiling the point and staying out of fire arc of their enemy.  Unless of course they are using OP turrets because this format demands turrets.  Forget about swarms ever existing.

 

7 minutes ago, Joe Censored said:

The new format doesn't "fix" anything, it just makes these things not necessarily winning strategies in all 6 objectives, and if they are only good for some objectives but poor in others then you're not looking at a good build for the format. 

Tanky Turrets that can fortress will be the new and only Meta.  Doesn't sound fun at all to me.

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47 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Play testers are not the same as game developers.  Do you have evidence that 50+ people all worked on the rules?  Is there a github repo with all of the contributors commits for instance?

The new format doesn't fix the fotressing, regen, and tanky builds problem.  These elements will all exist in the objective based game because they are inherent in the core game mechanics.

Well, the book lists 31 playtesters.   Luckily, you have already decided their opinion and work means nothing.

So, you must be an actual game developer, then?

Because otherwise, I'll be forced to side with 31 playtesters over 1 armchair quarterback.

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1 minute ago, Darth Meanie said:

Because otherwise, I'll be forced to side with 31 playtesters over 1 armchair quarterback.

Have you discussed the issues with the 31 play testers?  Do you have their results to review and analyse?  Or you simply choose to use the bandwagon fallacy?

> Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

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4 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Tanky Turrets that can fortress will be the new and only Meta.  Doesn't sound fun at all to me.

You are making an assumption here based on your knowledge of 100/6 games and your reading of the rules.

What you are asserting is not the case found over the course of several leagues ran with the objective rules.

Put some plastic on the table and play it. You'll likely find the same thing that was sussed out by the playtesters, that tanky point fortresses don't work anymore.

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12 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Except they ban cards so your perfectly legit 100pt list won't work in their format.  Han Solo for instance.  Not to mention, a dog fighting list won't be optimal for this.  Instead you just need tanky turrets that fortress and that is the new OP.

 

4 out of 5 objects are area control.  So 4 out of 5 games you can easily fotress the objective point.

 

Control Points don't make sense in this game what-so-ever.  Unless you fortress the points of course.  One can still regen away by circiling the point and staying out of fire arc of their enemy.  Unless of course they are using OP turrets because this format demands turrets.  Forget about swarms ever existing.

 

Tanky Turrets that can fortress will be the new and only Meta.  Doesn't sound fun at all to me.

They ban 3 rarely used cards.  You're lying to yourself if you're equating that with what would be needed for a game balance overhaul. 

There are 6 different objective missions, so I am not sure where you're getting this 4 out of 5 number.  If you meant 4 out of 6 then I don't think your chances of winning a 6-7 round tournament is very good if you are punting on 1/3 of the objectives. 

Why don't control points make any sense to you?  They are fairly large areas, and the point is less about controlling them yourself and more about denying control to your opponent.  Being a control point objective doesn't make fortressing automatically viable anyway, since you can have 2 control points separated across the board from each other, and you can't just ignore the other one forever since all they have to do to win then is sail a ship into the area of the 1 control point you're castling on and suddenly you don't get the VP for it that round, putting you behind in score.  Now you're forced to break your fortress or lose the game automatically just because you didn't vaporize a ship for 1 round that got near enough to your control point.   Please try to win a tournament of this with a fortressing strategy lol, won't work. 

Have you even read the rules for these objectives?  It sounds like you haven't.  Just because you are in range of the control point doesn't mean you control it. 

Edited by Joe Censored

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Just now, kris40k said:

Put some plastic on the table and play it. You'll likely find the same thing that was sussed out by the playtesters, that tanky point fortresses don't work anymore.

So tanky turrets don't work?  What about turrets in general?

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3 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Have you discussed the issues with the 31 play testers?  Do you have their results to review and analyse?  Or you simply choose to use the bandwagon fallacy?

> Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

You didn't answer my question.

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7 minutes ago, Joe Censored said:

Why don't control points make any sense to you? 

 

Quote

I think X-wing doesn’t lend itself to objective based play the way other game systems do in part because of the movement system at the game’s core.  Ships almost never occupy the same space on the board for consecutive turns, so holding territory – a common objective, is not feasible.  The theme of the game; starfighters dogfighting in space, doesn’t readily lend itself to many classic objectives, in fact.  Starpilots can’t lean out of their cockpits to grab important items, for example.

https://teamcovenant.com/general/the-case-for-and-against-objective-based-play

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3 minutes ago, Joe Censored said:

You realize you are quoting a guy who already in this thread said he was generally positive about this format, right?  :facepalm:

How does that relate to his claim that x-wing doesn't lend itself to objective based play?  I agree with him on that.  Area control in a game where ships have to move doesn't make sense.  Area control makes sense in gameplay that allows for game objects to not move.   Thematically, area control makes no sense what-so-ever.

If they really wanted area control, then they need to redesign the core mechanics of x-wing.  

Not only they, they complain about fotressing but create a game mode that requires fortressing to 'control the area'.

Edited by Rexler Brath

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31 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

How does that relate to his claim that x-wing doesn't lend itself to objective based play?  I agree with him on that.  Area control in a game where ships have to move doesn't make sense.  Area control makes sense in gameplay that allows for game objects to not move.   Thematically, area control makes no sense what-so-ever.

If they really wanted area control, then they need to redesign the core mechanics of x-wing.  

Not only they, they complain about fotressing but create a game mode that requires fortressing to 'control the area'.

In at least half of the objectives fortressing will lose you the game, period.  You haven't read the objectives apparently. 

Redesigning the core mechanics was outside of the scope of this format, and would be unpopular enough that it would violate other design goals. 

Area of control appears all over the place in Star Wars cannon, so not sure why you would think it is not thematic, and the control zones have been made large enough that you can easily stay within them while continuing to fly your ship. 

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43 minutes ago, Rexler Brath said:

Not only they, they complain about fotressing but create a game mode that requires fortressing to 'control the area'.

The only way to fortress is to prevent the movement of your ships while also preventing attacks from undefended quarters.

You cannot fortress in the middle of the board where the objectives are located.

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1 hour ago, Rexler Brath said:

Fortressing at objective points is a good way to win.  Tanky builds will still rule the world here.  Same for regen.

What are you fortressing with? If you're fortressed on the objective, then unlike fortressing int he corner, your opponent has multiple avenues to attack from.

1 hour ago, Rexler Brath said:

Except they ban cards so your perfectly legit 100pt list won't work in their format.  Han Solo for instance.  Not to mention, a dog fighting list won't be optimal for this.  Instead you just need tanky turrets that fortress and that is the new OP.

 

4 out of 5 objects are area control.  So 4 out of 5 games you can easily fotress the objective point.

 

Control Points don't make sense in this game what-so-ever.  Unless you fortress the points of course.  One can still regen away by circiling the point and staying out of fire arc of their enemy.  Unless of course they are using OP turrets because this format demands turrets.  Forget about swarms ever existing.

 

Tanky Turrets that can fortress will be the new and only Meta.  Doesn't sound fun at all to me.

I'm not sure tanky turret fortresses are your bset bet.  Most "tanky turrets" are only tanky because they avoid a lot of shots and can tank 1 or 2 at a time (think the old fat han, with c3po, evade and r2d2.  You can avoid 3 damage per round if 1 or 2 ships are shooting you, but what about when there's 5 and they know exactly where you'll be?).  Miranda regen doesn't really work when you have to be in a small area with an opponents entire list pointing at you.  I played a game with Poe last night and he did still do well.  Advanced optics means he doesn't need his action to get defense, and he was able to solo down 2 BTL-TLT y-wings without ever leaving the objective (on shuttle scuttle).

And you definitely don't need to fortress on a control point.  If you have 4 or 5 ships (as I expect a lot of people to in this format), you only actually ever need 1 to be in a control point when it's checked, so you can rotate ships through being in range depending on what moves are most useful for you.

I'd love to see your suggestion of a tanky turret list that will dominate this format since you seem to think it's such an issue.

1 hour ago, Rexler Brath said:

Have you discussed the issues with the 31 play testers?  Do you have their results to review and analyse?  Or you simply choose to use the bandwagon fallacy?

> Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

Have you played a single game with any of the objectives?  So far we have playtesters and other people who've played the format on one side, then we have you telling us why we're all wrong.

Edited by VanderLegion

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3 hours ago, Kaptin Krunch said:

Something that kept striking me- 

 

Why not un-ban the few banned cards and say 

"You cannot destroy an obstacle that is also an objective"

"You cannot deploy within range 1-2 of an objective, or place bomb tokens at range 1-2 of an objective during deployment"

It's on the to do list to try out, but basically simplicity.  That's more rules to be added (and potentially forgotten), at least in the case of Seismic Torps.

 

For minefield mapper, I don't know how to test it meaningfully to "clear" it.  I know, given enough time, someone will make something which wins by violating the core goal of the format of incentivizing engagements, and we'll have to keep changing it to work around it.

 

For the last 1-2 pages, quick response: You should find that turrets are basically very sad about trading shots.  Miranda that loses 10 MoV/VP every turn she isn't getting shot at is a very sad Miranda.  Same goes for Dash, etc, up until finally to a lesser extent Dengar but even Dengar is generally overwhelmed pretty quickly.

Turrets do well in standard games because you have to fight them on their terms, or be willing to wait the game out till time and have more dice than them.  With that taken away, they're significantly more fair.

Or, to rephrase - arcs are significantly better, because you have a better idea of where things will be, and if they end up not being there you are rewarded for being there anyways.

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Came to read about the format. Stayed for the salty tears.

*sigh* - every gaming group/community has one or two. I don't think anyone will mind if Rex refuses to show up to Objective based Tournaments. I, for one, look forward to trying out a new format. Thanks for the hard work gentlemen (and Krayts).

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Hey guys, don't attack Rexlar because he has issues.  I think it's good to talk through them.  This is all about discussion, including constructive criticism.

@Rexler Brath I'm responding via phone, so forgive the awkward responses and potential typing errors.

First off, you say that there is nothing wrong with competitive format.  I'll disagree with you on that.  I think there is a burn out rate for who likes it.  I started in Wave 1 and got burnt out on tournaments.  These guys are serious tournament folk...and they see issues.  So, I think that at least half of all players think there are flaws to tournament play at pure 100/6.  Maybe more.  I think I would do tournaments if this were used.

You say that it doesn't really fix the inherent issues with those 3 problems as those issues still exist.   Let me address them 1 by 1.  

Fortressing: this is primarily staying in the starter corner.  I am not sure if any mission will benefit from not leaving the corner.  If you don't engage, your opponent doesn't have to approach you.  They play the objective and win without firing a shot.  It's near impossible to move and then set up a fortress, but moving out if corner also allows people to get around you, which also destroys the fortress.

Regen and Run: once again, if you peel off to regen, they can win by objective at crucial time.

Points Fortressing: once again, you don't have to kill to win.  All about points.  Often missions don't favor 2 ship lists that do this.

Overall, the issue they are fixing is those players that want to run from a fight or force a fight only on favorable conditions are a problem. The biggest problem was turning the game into a pure killfest that only rewarded the most uber efficient killing machines. Many of these used hit and run tactics that were hard for many to counter. What this does is replace that with a way to score without killing.  This really shakes up the game.  It replaces pure killing efficiency as the only metric for success with others.  Maneuverability, firepower, and sturdiness become valuable.  "Workhorse" ships find a place as it's not all about efficiency.  Most of those pure 100/6 lists have only 2-3 ships, but now having 4-6 ships becomes more valuable.  You might be able to kill a decent portion of the new list, but they might earn more points from you in objectives.

Take 3 Wookie Gunships, for example.  They can be really hard to kill and win in a normal game.  You don't need to kill them in an objective game and take away their strength.

Look at Miranda as she is all about blasting and dropping bombs, but running away when hurt to regen shields.  If she does that her combat ability is weakened and she is out of fight for turns as she regens.  Same with Curran Horn.  In those turns, the other guy can win. 

 

It really changed what is a good ship by changing the parameters of what is required.  You can say the same problems exist, but they aren't really as much of a problem.  You won't see the same type lists used in the game.  The same strategies that people used to win before will not be valid.

Once you move away from the few super efficient killing ships, it opens up a lot of other options as actually competitive options.  You may eventually come out with some new favorite netlists that people use, but they won't be the only options.  There should be a very wide range of possible builds that can work competitively with these missions.  Personally, I am thinking of a Kimogila ace with 3 Khiraxz Fighters.  Also, 4 Tie Bombers should be strong, as well.

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Oh, about turrets....yes, they will be good, but what ships can generally take them?  Y-wings, HWKs, Tie Aggressors, Skurgg.  Many of these ships can simply be shot up, especially if you know they will hang out near objectives.  They might also need to spend actions on objective and not modifying attack.  Also, which turret will be super devastating at R1-2? Autoblaster will do 2 damage max.  Others aren't super deadly.  

I am less worried a turret ship will become super powerful.  It will be good, but not broken.

I do think I will use a Tie Aggressor more often, though.  Cool!

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I ordered 11 sets of these cards from make playing cards, I'm really excited for this system!  I'm always on the lookout for alternative formats.  I ran a 32 person format last November with Distinct Hangar Bay rules, and the added rule of having to fly each list an equal number of times in both regular and top4 rounds.  32 people signing up for a hangar bay system goes to show you that people are excited for slightly altered formats (out of 8ish store champs in the area, only 2 were larger than this).  I'm seriously looking at this objective format for future tournaments. 

We managed to play a single mission (#2) and it was probably the simplest.  Both sides had imperial aces so it was a lot of fun on an escalated timeline trying to engage in the rockfield, as opposed to flying around for 45 minutes trying to out position one another.  I can see how these cater to bringing the action into your face rather quickly to get objectives.  Cutting straight to the fun part, I like it!  Can't wait to play more of them.  Well done collective!

I will say the most interesting part of the whole podcast was how you guys figured things out during testing, and then adapted the mission objectives and mission styles to compensate.  Its cool to hear about the process :)

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