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DagobahDave

Dagobah Dave's Squadron Cards

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Posted (edited)

Here are a couple of ideas I've been kicking around for squadron cards based on the adventurers' party cards from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition, an FFG funky-dice RPG designed by none other than X-Wing's own Jay Little. Not sure if he's responsible for the party card designs or whatever, but that's where I was first introduced to this sort of thing.

--(EDIT: There were some early card designs and rules ideas in this space but I removed them to avoid causing confusion. Skip below to see the current states of the various squadron cards and the ground rules.)--

THE CURRENT VERSION:

http://www.outworld-studio.com/xwing/zip/xmg-dd-squadron-cards.zip

This contains a Rules PDF, a set of prepared JPG files ready to print, and blank PNG card templates.

Edited by DagobahDave

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Shared upgrades is an interesting way to go.  It makes sense that the ships of a squadron might be equipped the same way.

With Blade Squardon, my only issue is the point cost limits.  I almost would rather there not be a limit, but have the cost of the squadron increase for each point in excess of a certain minimum.  "You may attach 1 non-unique Cannon and 1 non-unique System to this card.  For each point of their combined cost in excess of 4, increase the cost of this card by 3."

For example, Advanced Sensors and Linked Batteries would be 5 points, so the squadron would cost 4+(5-4)x3 = 7 points.  It wouldn't quite work out to get 3x Blues and Ibtisam, but it adds flexibility, and doesn't just mean every B-Wing gets a free FCS.  Having a flexible max that you'll still have to pay for means you don't just equip the best two upgrades under the limit for free.

Or just Heavy Laser Cannon for 4+(7- 4)x3 = 13 points for the squadron.  Too much to get four HLC B-Wings, but if you wanted to get three, it'd be cheaper this way.

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I like. It's a sensible concept, and looks nicely professional.

It uses a lot of the ideas floated around in various iterations of "wouldn't squadrons be great?" threads - shared upgrade bars, a points cost allowing inequal abilities, and some 'caling mechanics' to allow their use in epic (which is a good idea and something I've not seen).

Comments and observations:

  • 6"x4" is large - people will have trouble fitting that into card wallets that are a big part of easy sorting and storing of x-wing products.Using 1 or even 2 pilot cards (or 1 squadron card and a generic brown rules card for 'squadrons' to define membership and universal abilities will be easier to carry and fit in a deployment zone.
  • Having  a points cost is good but how do I 'win' those points? For example, Blade Squadron with Heavy Laser Cannon & Collision Detector is 11 points. Assuming your squad consists of Blade Squadron/Heavy Laser Cannon/Collision Detector/Blue Squadron Pilot x 4, no matter how many B-wings I kill, I can't get at the points on the squadron card as written.
  • Black Squadron - converting evade to focus is odd but never mind, your rules. The Reinforcement mechanic could do with a bit of tweaking, though - allowing the respawn anywhere within range 1 of a board edge is fine, but having played a lot of the cinematic play scenarios including it, I can say it needs the minimum 'exclusion zone' (R1-3, like Han) around enemy ships for a reason. Having a 'respawn' pop up at range 1 directly in front of you to block is not entirely fair.

Things I've thought about including:

  • Tokens to indicate squadron membership much like condition tokens.
    • This means you have a 'hard limit' on the number of squadron members but nothing stops you taking multiple non-unique squadrons and getting 2 copies of "TIE Academy Squadron", each with 8 squadron tokens, for an epic game.
    • Having condition-esque tokens to sit on the pilot card, which are returned to the squadron card when killed.
      • gives you an easy rules mechanic to define when half or more of a squadron is dead (more tokens on the squadron than not) and hence the opponent gets points for them
    • Allows non-standard and non-uniform squadron formations (bomber and escorts, squad leader and his squad, assassins and their target - assigning one token to the enemy)
    • Allows multiple squadrons in a squad, both consisting of the same ship type.
  • Making the card double-sided, with the back used as space to define legal squad members
    • That allows space to have more 'convoluted' options
      • squads where not all pilots are in the same ship (Black Squadron is TIE fighters plus Darth Vader in a TIE Advanced X1)
      • squads where not all pilots in a given ship are legal options (Soontir Fel is a Saber Squadron pilot, Carnor Jax is not)
      • defining legal pilots by name in some cases avoids any issue of confusing ship types like X-wing and T-70 X-wing, Aggressor and TIE Aggressor, TIE fighter and TIE/fo Fighter and TIE/sf Fighter
      • Allows you to boost specific pilots without boosting the class as a whole (improving E-wings and TIE Advanced without overpowering Corran Horn and Darth Vader respectively)

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Posted (edited)

This sounds fun to me:

 

Red Squadron Aces: 100 squad points

• Red Squadron (2) - R2 Astromech

• Wes Janson (29) X-wing, Integrated Astromech (0), Veteran Instincts (1), • R3-A2 (2)

• Wedge Antilles (29) X-wing, Integrated Astromech (0), Push the Limit (3), • BB-8 (2)

• Luke Skywalker (28) X-wing, Integrated Astromech (0), Adaptability (0), • R2-D2 (0)

 

Everyones astromech benefits from adding the R2 Astromech text.

Edited by AwesomeJedi
Added "unique" symbols.

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7 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Things I've thought about including:

Card sizes: I just took a quick look on Amazon and it was pretty easy to find 4x6 plastic binder pages and 4x6 card sleeves, so I think we're okay on that, luckily. I'm not dead-set on the card sizes, but I like the idea of a horizontally-oriented card large enough to have easily identifiable spaces for upgrades, plenty of room for the rules text, and an illustration. It's likely to clutter up the play area a little bit more -- like adding 1 ship's worth of cards. But in some cases it will become a common reference card that takes the place of multiple title fix cards, so it might balance out.

TIEs converting evades into focus: I agree it's kind of odd, but I think it improves the swarm's action economy slightly while not being overly generous. If you wanted to be generous, you could bank an unspent focus token and use it to buy a free action later, or something like that. 

Squadron tokens: That could be a good way of doing things. I'm not opposed to hard limits on the number of ships allowed in certain squadrons.

The way I have things set up, you really just need a way for each ship to indicate that it has popped Crack Shot or some other discardable card granted through their squadron card, and in those cases I think an ID token matching the ship's ID token is the easiest way do that -- you'd just pull your ship's matching ID token off of your squadron-slotted Crack Shot card. (You'd need tokens with A and B sides to indicate dual card choices like Intensity and Adaptability. That's kind of messy.)

Legal squad members: I'm not so crazy about excluding specific pilots by name, and would prefer to regulate those sorts of things through PS limits or point costs, the way FFG normally does. Generally I see these as "what if" squadrons that should serve X-Wing conceits even if they contradict the lore somewhat. Maybe Soontir was never in Saber Squadron, but it's pretty easy for me to imagine that today he's on a special assignment or whatever.

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Posted (edited)

Alrighty, here's a second third attempt at Squadron Cards.

* * * * * * * * * *

SQUADRON CARDS

Squadron cards provide a special way to build squads and new abilities to explore.

Each squad may include 1 squadron card of their choice if they meet the basic requirements: ship types in certain quantities (if any), and point costs (if any). If there are additional requirements, these will be listed in the main squadron rules area of the card.

Squadron Ships

To include a squadron card, a squad must include each of the ship types indicated by the ship icons in the upper right corner. The number next to each ship icon indicates the minimum number of ships that must be in your squad.

The term squadron ship means any and all ships in your squad that are represented by the ship icon(s) listed on the squadron card. Only the ships types listed on the squadron card are affected by it.

However, if no ship icons are present on a squadron card, that card may be added to a squad made up of any ship types. If no ship types are present, all of the ships in the squad are squadron ships.

Example: To use the Contract Killers squadron card, your squad must include at least 1 Firespray-31, but you could include 2 or 3 Firespray-31s and all of them would benefit from the squadron card.

Point Costs

There may be a point cost associated with each squadron card, sometimes expressed as “X / 100” where X is the point cost for the squadron card for every 100 points (or part thereof) allowed in your format.

Examples: A squadron card costing “3 / 100” would cost 3 points in a 100-point-squad format. That same squadron would cost 9 points in a 250-point-squad format.

Squadron Upgrades

A common feature of squadron cards is the ability to attach upgrades to them. If a squadron card features an Upgrade card-sized space with an upgrade icon, during squadbuilding a player may attach 1 Upgrade card of that type into that space.

Players cannot attach unique or dual cards to squadron card upgrade spaces.

Any of a player’s squadron ships may treat their squadron Upgrade cards as though they had a 0-point copy of that card of their own. Note that access to these shared upgrades does not automatically provide ships with the upgrade slots necessary to equip them.

There may be additional restrictions or requirements indicated in these upgrade spaces, such as “maximum point value of 3.” If two or more different upgrade icons appear in the same space, a player may attach 1 Upgrade card matching any 1 of the upgrade types shown.

Token Management

Many squadron cards will require players to use tracking tokens. Players may also be required to use other tokens such as target locks, focus tokens, evade tokens, and so on. Players will need to place ID tokens (and sometimes ordnance tokens) on upgrade cards that are shared by multiple ships, to be removed when a squadron ship “discards” its individual copy of that upgrade. If ordnance tokens or other tokens are needed, place these directly underneath the ID token on the shared upgrade card.

Example: If two or more ships in your squadron are sharing a Concussion Missiles squadron upgrade, each squadron ship equipped with that upgrade should place an ID token on the missile Upgrade card that matches the ID token on the ship’s base. When a ship “discards” one of these shared upgrade cards, remove its ID token from the shared upgrade to indicate that it is no longer available to that ship.

Destroying Squadron Cards

A squadron card will remain in play if there is at least one of its squadron ships in play.

For competitive scoring purposes, when the last of squadron card’s squadron ships is destroyed, the squadron card’s point value is added to that ship’s point value.
 

 

red.jpg

 

black.jpg

 

ravens.jpg

 

blade.jpg

 

contract-killers.jpg

 

avenger.jpg

 

green.jpg

 

raddus.jpg

 

tactical-bombing-unit.jpg

 

shadow.jpg

 

new-republic-vanguard.jpg

 

gold.jpg

 

61st.jpg

 

bandit.jpg

 

aces-128th.jpg

 

heavy-ordnance.jpg

 

Edited by DagobahDave

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This is a really cool idea on how to approach squadrons. 

Although if you let me some nit-pick, you should change all those "generic" for "non-unique". We may use that word for the non-unique pilots and upgrades, but "generic"isn't a concept used by the rules :P.

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8 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

I preferred NOT having to think about Xs. But I see you're trying to scale the upgrade based on # of ships. 

 

LESS TEXT IS BETTER. EASIER IS BETTER. LESS RULES< LESS TO READ, MORE PEW PEW

@theBitterFig made a pretty convincing argument about giving players more flexibility when developing their squads. I think it's worth the extra point calculation, but I like the simplicity of fixed point costs too. We might cycle back to fixed point costs again if there's a good way to do it.

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Posted (edited)

I really like this idea, but the Red Squadron ability makes R2d2 so so good, it gives the xwing regen on 8 different maneuvers. It's probably not game breaking on a T-65, but Luke will love it. 

Edited by Mrk1984

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1 hour ago, Mrk1984 said:

I really like this idea, but the Red Squadron ability makes R2d2 so so good, it gives the xwing regen on 8 different maneuvers. It's probably not game breaking on a T-65, but Luke will love it. 

This is true...

(But, even then, I'm not sure that any T-65 doing that will be THAT overpowered anyways. Luke Wedge and Wes could all use the boost. )

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Another great idea. 

Though I think you could do something more interesting than pure point saving. (The evade idea is great). Pure point saving causes min maxing and efficiency questions. It just makes certain combos the best and the  rest garbage 

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Looks good!

Comments:

11 hours ago, Mrk1984 said:

I really like this idea, but the Red Squadron ability makes R2d2 so so good, it gives the xwing regen on 8 different maneuvers. It's probably not game breaking on a T-65, but Luke will love it. 

  • Or the ability to have Targeting Astromech and R3-A2 on Hobbie, or some faintly hideous Flight Assist Astromech/BB-8 Wedge. I'm not going to say it's broken - it's not - but double astromech is impressive. Plus I like that the Red Squadron ability synchs so well with Red Leader's ability....
  • Black Squadron still says 'generic' not 'non-unique'
    • Really? I get that there are free reinforcements, but a generic Crack Shot Swarm - the best 'pure black squadron' force - is 6 TIE fighters. Giving this the squadron title costs 24 points - a quarter of the squad - and won't do anything except give me one free focus token until I've taken 33% casualties (and I suspect it may even force the squad down to 5 ships, making it even worse)
  • Contract Killers doesn't actually 'attach' the cannon/mod to the pilots.
  • Is the intent of Blade Squadron to allow the pilots to buy missiles not attached to the squadron card?
  • If Tactical Bombing Unit bombers have a 0-point version of a torpedo and missile, assuming they each have extra munitions equipped, that's quite a lot of token work for discardable upgrades you need to do without a card to place said tokens on.

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58 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:
  • Is the intent of Blade Squadron to allow the pilots to buy missiles not attached to the squadron card?
  • If Tactical Bombing Unit bombers have a 0-point version of a torpedo and missile, assuming they each have extra munitions equipped, that's quite a lot of token work for discardable upgrades you need to do without a card to place said tokens on.

Blade Squadron: Yeah, that would be an option. I'm not married to the idea, just throwing ideas around about ways to fix B-Wings. I'm not sure exactly what they need, so maybe FCS plus Advanced Sensors and Harpoon Missiles, I dunno. I'll keep working on that.

Token Overload: I'm not too worried about this. Adds a little bit of token work, but treating your squadron card almost like a "console" with "buttons" is part of the appeal of these cards for me.

For shared upgrades, I think you really just need some extra #1-7 ID tokens (if we're pretending this is to be an FFG expansion, we'd include a sheet of ID tokens and ordnance tokens). If you're sharing Extra Munitions with Harpoon Missiles and Cluster Mines, each ship places its matching ID token on top of an ordnance token on the shared Harpoon Missiles card and does the same for the shared Clusters Mines card. Remove the ordnance token for the first use of the upgrade, then remove the ID token for the second.

Some amount of additional token management seems pretty much inevitable unless we put loads of restrictions in place, but generally I agree it's a good idea to keep to a moderate level.

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Roughnecks:

  • No matter how good an ability, if you can only generate one tracking token a turn, then a 4-turn charge-up ability will only trigger every 4 turns, max.
    • A game is normally 5-10 turns, I think, often much less. Meaning the regen/repair is likely to trigger once in a game, maybe twice.
    • It's essentially a one-use 'extra shield' plus a comm relay analogue.

Shadow Squadron:

  • This is a really harsh ability. The track 2 ability can get knotted - avoiding combat for 2 turns is easy, so you'll have this charged on turn 1 of the actual fight.
    • Stay cloaked for the entire combat round, then decloak after everyone has moved and fired, then shoot, then recloak?
    • Decloak, shoot, advanced cloak, decloak, shoot again (this time with Fire Control target lock)? Admittedly not ending cloaked - so no tracking token - but a phantom double-tapping someone is a hideous concept (especially with Echo's ability to circle-strafe)
  • Plus a discount Advanced Cloaking Device and the ability to field a stygium particle accelerator as well?

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Roughnecks:

  • No matter how good an ability, if you can only generate one tracking token a turn, then a 4-turn charge-up ability will only trigger every 4 turns, max.
    • A game is normally 5-10 turns, I think, often much less. Meaning the regen/repair is likely to trigger once in a game, maybe twice.
    • It's essentially a one-use 'extra shield' plus a comm relay analogue.

Shadow Squadron:

  • This is a really harsh ability. The track 2 ability can get knotted - avoiding combat for 2 turns is easy, so you'll have this charged on turn 1 of the actual fight.
    • Stay cloaked for the entire combat round, then decloak after everyone has moved and fired, then shoot, then recloak?
    • Decloak, shoot, advanced cloak, decloak, shoot again (this time with Fire Control target lock)? Admittedly not ending cloaked - so no tracking token - but a phantom double-tapping someone is a hideous concept (especially with Echo's ability to circle-strafe)
  • Plus a discount Advanced Cloaking Device and the ability to field a stygium particle accelerator as well?

Roughnecks: In my experience, matches usually last 8-15 rounds, so I figured most squads could expect 1-2 uses  of the repair function, making it kind of like a poor man's Chewbacca crew card (4pts). The token lost-and-found is worth at least as much as a Comm Relay (3pts). You'd be paying 6 or 8 points for this squadron card, which I think is a fair trade for what you get, but this combination of ships probably needs more help. I'll think of some tweaks.

Shadow: Sure, you're virtually guaranteed to have stored up enough tokens to get the End phase attack on your first round of shooting (specifically on turn 3 at the soonest), and that first engagement should be pretty scary for your opponent, but I think you'll have to fly skillfully to keep that track working at an efficient rate after that. I think you might be able to get one more End phase attack out of it, but you'll have to time things out and be aware of the requirements.

You wouldn't get to combine ACD with SPA -- your TIE Phantoms don't get a second modification slot -- but you would get your choice of modification for free. (Some of the squadron cards do provide additional upgrade slots to your ships, but this one doesn't.)

Track 1 is designed more for the ACD user, and Track 2 is designed more for SPA. Track 2 could be stronger, and I'll think on that, but mostly I'm okay with Track 1 without actually seeing it in action.

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