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Brunas

Alternative Play Format: Objectives for X-Wing

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Great work gentlemen. We tried out all the objectives during the holidays. We made a few modifications to suit our needs.

Many of the games involved 3 people. Not all of the objectives worked with 3 but several did. Our first change was to change to 60 point lists (more on this later). The smaller lists kept the board from getting too crowded. Deployment zones were two corners on one side (with a range ruler creating at a 45 degree angle) and a range ruler in the middle of the opposite side. Some of the objective zones were changed from a band to the center square. We also had a gentleman's agreement to avoid some of the traditional points fortresses (Miranda, Corran Horn, etc).

We also changed the win condition to 60 points. Many of the objective points were changed as well. (With the exception of the proximity objectives - those were harder with 3 players). As written most of the objectives add up to 100 points - we just change them to add up to 60 (the size of one list).

Everybody always seemed to gang up on the scariest ship then ignore the rest of that list to move onto the next scariest ship. As a player gained advantage the other two always ganged up on him. 

As for the 60 point lists - they ended up being really interesting. You had to make enough sacrifices that it brought out lots of rarely used pilots. We just kept using 60 point lists in 2 player games. They stayed fun.

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On 12/14/2017 at 9:18 PM, Kaptin Krunch said:

I know this is a bit strange but I can't figure out a star-wars-themed re-fluffing for the last 2 missions.

Capture a VIP, the rocks contain information relays, shielded satelite, VIP again, that all works.

For the Crate and Cargo one, i'm struggling to ratoionalize how it makes sense- it justs seems overly game-y. Any ideas?

I did strain a bit to work up thematically satisfying flavor text for all the missions.

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My buddy and me did two of these scenarios last weekend, shielded sensor and the crate one. Loved the added dimension of objectives, but it drug the game out to be quite long (2 1/2 hours to 3). We have been playing about two years, and we had dials down typically within 90 seconds to 2 minutes. I ran 5 A-Wings and he had one game with quad Y wings and another with QD/Yorr/Gunboat. We both were in agreement; while a fun variant, these games would HAVE to be timed. The objectives gave it more of a theme, but as they encourage having more ships on the board (especially generics) it added a lot of layers to have to be peeled. I can't fathom a roomful of 50+ people playing these out timely to get multiple competitive games in a day. Sadly, it doesn't seem like the answer to the current state of Bombwing/Harpoon-a-thon/always the same 7 pilots competitive play. 

 

But were these fun and better designed than most missions? Yep. Felt like Star Wars!

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18 minutes ago, Javelin said:

My local weekly league is running the objectives. Last week we did the Shuttle Scuttle and had a great time! This week is mission 2, looking forward to it.

Keep in mind that it's a different experience being able to tech for a known objective (as opposed to playing them randomly).

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10 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Keep in mind that it's a different experience being able to tech for a known objective (as opposed to playing them randomly).

I appreciate the emphasis and want to repeat yet again: in a competition, you'll have chosen a list before you see what objective you're playing.

 

I totally see the value in doing one a week, just to get a few reps in to "get" it though!

Edited by Brunas

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A few questions for @Brunas or any of the other designers on the banned cards.

[1] did you try extending the "outside range 3" restriction that TFA-Han and Minefield Mapper have regarding enemy ships to objectives?  That is, if Han isn't in your deployment area, he can only be placed outside R3 of any objectives and outside R3 of any enemy ships.  Likewise, no mines mapped within R3 of an objective.  I'd be curious to see if the problems they posed were minimized by extending the restrictions designed to prevent them from being unpleasant in 100/6.

[2] did you try limiting Seismic Torpedos to non-objective obstacles?  I clearly understand why you wouldn't want these blowing up one of the two Riot Rocks, or the Shielded Sensor.  It's less obvious to me that blowing up other obstacles would be a problem.

I mean, the answer to either of these could easily be "yes we tried that, but it was still an issue."  However, I'm still curious.

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So we've done the first two missions so far and really enjoyed them. We are doing it very casual so nobody had bothered to read them beforehand and make lists specifically for the games. Just doing those two missions so far has significantly improved the morale of the league and gotten players excited to play again. We're doing mission 3 Thursday.  There's an objectives tournament this week at a different store that I might go to just to play them some more. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 2:18 PM, Brunas said:

I appreciate the emphasis and want to repeat yet again: in a competition, you'll have chosen a list before you see what objective you're playing.

 

I totally see the value in doing one a week, just to get a few reps in to "get" it though!

I can't like this enough. The format changes significantly when you can build with each objective in mind. 

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We played Objectives at League last night, and they were a huge hit.  (We randomly chose and played Shuttle Scuffle (#1) and Crate *mutter*mutter* (#5).)  Nearly everyone was skeptical, but by the end everyone there had bought (or been given, in the case of our League organizer) a set of MPC plastic tarot-sized Objectives cards from me.

I played a fairly wholesome undefeated Store Kit tourney list (I was too lazy to change out my X-Wing travel kit) of Talonbane, Thweek, Bumpmaster, and went 1-1 in two 60-minute games (technically the first was allocated 70 minutes, to account for lots of questions, which worked out), with scores of 63-25 and 36-10.  There were no absolute blowouts.

We banned Minefield Mapper, Trajectory Simulator, and Seismic Torpedoes.  (I think Seismic Torpedoes could be  fine, if they "can't be used on obstacles being used as objectives.")

Bonus points:  Who can guess why I play Talonbane instead of Fenn Rau in that list?

Edited by Jeff Wilder

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We're having a tournament coming up this weekend. I will ask my players if they can give feedback afterwards on what they thought. 

Any progress with those video explanations for each mission? I think as it is now I am going to have a player meeting at the start of each round to go over the rules for the current mission with everyone to make sure everybody is on the same page.

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3 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

We're having a tournament coming up this weekend. I will ask my players if they can give feedback afterwards on what they thought. 

Any progress with those video explanations for each mission? I think as it is now I am going to have a player meeting at the start of each round to go over the rules for the current mission with everyone to make sure everybody is on the same page.

After our experience with a tournament that had a couple players who were new to objectives I think this is a great idea! I think we will do this next tournament!

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On 1/15/2018 at 7:35 PM, theBitterFig said:

A few questions for @Brunas or any of the other designers on the banned cards.

[1] did you try extending the "outside range 3" restriction that TFA-Han and Minefield Mapper have regarding enemy ships to objectives?  That is, if Han isn't in your deployment area, he can only be placed outside R3 of any objectives and outside R3 of any enemy ships.  Likewise, no mines mapped within R3 of an objective.  I'd be curious to see if the problems they posed were minimized by extending the restrictions designed to prevent them from being unpleasant in 100/6.

[2] did you try limiting Seismic Torpedos to non-objective obstacles?  I clearly understand why you wouldn't want these blowing up one of the two Riot Rocks, or the Shielded Sensor.  It's less obvious to me that blowing up other obstacles would be a problem.

I mean, the answer to either of these could easily be "yes we tried that, but it was still an issue."  However, I'm still curious.

Hey, so here's the reasons for most of the banned cards if you're curious (including trajectory simulator, for the short term at least which will be on the list ASAP)

  1. Minefield Mapper and TFA Han - Frankly a time thing.  It's such a time investment to try and "clear" every possible different variant potentially degenerate thing that is better spent trying other stuff because for the most part, no one cares about these fringe upgrades that break the core game rules in such a weird way.  Like you said, we could probably say no mines mapped within R3 of an objective, but now we need even more rules!  We're going for simplicity, 
  2. Kind of?  It's not that blowing up other obstacles, it's just concern about adding more rules.  I suspect we'll go fix this one once we double check it doesn't break anything silly, because it mostly doesn't matter.  It's just for brevity at the moment.
  3. Trajectory simulator is on the list not (not in the doc yet, still editing) because it's awful to play against.  We're still not really sure it's the dominant strategy, but it breaks apart the goals of the format in such a fundamental way that I can't think of any good solution.  Please, suggestions very welcome.
8 hours ago, Jeff Wilder said:

We played Objectives at League last night, and they were a huge hit.  (We randomly chose and played Shuttle Scuffle (#1) and Crate *mutter*mutter* (#5).)  Nearly everyone was skeptical, but by the end everyone there had bought (or been given, in the case of our League organizer) a set of MPC plastic tarot-sized Objectives cards from me.

I played a fairly wholesome undefeated Store Kit tourney list (I was too lazy to change out my X-Wing travel kit) of Talonbane, Thweek, Bumpmaster, and went 1-1 in two 60-minute games (technically the first was allocated 70 minutes, to account for lots of questions, which worked out), with scores of 63-25 and 36-10.  There were no absolute blowouts.

We banned Minefield Mapper, Trajectory Simulator, and Seismic Torpedoes.  (I think Seismic Torpedoes could be  fine, if they "can't be used on obstacles being used as objectives.")

Bonus points:  Who can guess why I play Talonbane instead of Fenn Rau in that list?

That's super cool to hear.  Glad you guys gave it a shot and liked it.  Player buy-in is hard, and people are correct to be skeptical.

6 hours ago, Tvboy said:

We're having a tournament coming up this weekend. I will ask my players if they can give feedback afterwards on what they thought. 

Any progress with those video explanations for each mission? I think as it is now I am going to have a player meeting at the start of each round to go over the rules for the current mission with everyone to make sure everybody is on the same page.

@Musical Xeno @Rytackle I've dropped the ball entirely here - what do you guys think?

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6 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

Also my players think trajectory simulator is banned for some reason?

They are correct, at least for the super short term - we've had timing issues getting the documents updated, but have been trying to get the word out otherwise.  Trajectory Simulator will be banned as soon as we can get the docs updated.

 

I'll go edit the OP right now actually, just realized I had forgotten.

Edited by Brunas

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I have managed to play about 4 games so far.  I really like it.  I've played my Hutt Cartel list (with the exception of adding in Flechette Torps) and had good success with it.  I've found that Kihraxz Fighters are really good and cheap for the game.  Also, Sunny Bounder with Tractor Beam can be hysterical.  I like how the objectives make it possible for "non-competitive" lists to be competitive.

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11 hours ago, Brunas said:

Hey, so here's the reasons for most of the banned cards if you're curious (including trajectory simulator, for the short term at least which will be on the list ASAP)

  1. Minefield Mapper and TFA Han - Frankly a time thing.  It's such a time investment to try and "clear" every possible different variant potentially degenerate thing that is better spent trying other stuff because for the most part, no one cares about these fringe upgrades that break the core game rules in such a weird way.  Like you said, we could probably say no mines mapped within R3 of an objective, but now we need even more rules!  We're going for simplicity, 
  2. Kind of?  It's not that blowing up other obstacles, it's just concern about adding more rules.  I suspect we'll go fix this one once we double check it doesn't break anything silly, because it mostly doesn't matter.  It's just for brevity at the moment.
  3. Trajectory simulator is on the list not (not in the doc yet, still editing) because it's awful to play against.  We're still not really sure it's the dominant strategy, but it breaks apart the goals of the format in such a fundamental way that I can't think of any good solution.  Please, suggestions very welcome.

Fair enough.  These seem like they'd be next-level playtesting issues.

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I have a question. Do the crate tokens in Objective 5 have pilot skill for the effect of Predator?

We ruled that they do not as they do not activate during activation nor fire during combat. 

Agree/Disagree?

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On 1/19/2018 at 3:04 PM, AT Leader said:

I have a question. Do the crate tokens in Objective 5 have pilot skill for the effect of Predator?

We ruled that they do not as they do not activate during activation nor fire during combat. 

Agree/Disagree?

It's in the FAQ (which isn't published yet, I know, I'm sorry!)

Yes, objectives have a pilot skill of 0.

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Ran a tournament using the format, we ended up playing Shuttle Scuttle, Crates and VIP Assist. My players had some questions about how the rules work and I had to do my best answering them based on what I saw in the rules pamphlet but I wasn't quite sure. I will include my answers after the question but I have another tournament coming up in two weeks and we'd like to know the answers. 

Q: Do range bonuses apply when attacking a crate and can attacks on crates be obstructed? A: Yes, the crate will roll +1 evade die for range bonus and/or obstructed and attacker gets +1 atk for range 1 primary attack.

Q: Does the crate suffer damage from things like bombs, deadman's switch, etc? A: No, because they are not ships according to the mission, so they are not affected by things that affect ships other than attacks. 

Q: Can the crates be target locked for the purposes of ordnance, and can ordnance be fired at them via deadeye? A: Since they are not ships, they are objectives, and objectives cannot have tokens assigned to them, so they cannot be target locked, but ordnance can be fired at them using deadeye.

Q: Does the transport in VIP assist have a firing arc, and if so does attacking a ship outside of that firing arc trigger autothrusters? A: It is considered a ship, and the rules mentioned that it may attack outside of its firing arc, so therefore it must have a firing arc, and it will trigger autothrusters.

Q: Does the transport get a range bonus when it attacks? Can its attacks be obstructed? A: I ruled that the defender does get a range bonus against the transport at range 3 (it's impossible for the transport to attack a ship at range 1) and that attacks from the transport can be obstructed.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the orientation of the transport when placed? Can I place it a 45 degree angle or with the firing arc facing my opponent's board edge? A: I actually ruled incorrectly on this one and thought that the deployment rules from Shuttle Scuttle applied, but there are no restrictions on orientation in VIP Assist's rules. 

Let me know if my rulings were correct or not.

 

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