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Blail Blerg

The gorgeous and not so gorgeous thing about Titles

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BB wants to have a a non-biased discussion about Titles, with the first example being Yavaris... is that even possible?? Just kidding: This thread has nothing to do about squadron efficiency, and is more about something cool that Armada does.
(*Puts down my raging hatred for squadron efficiency aside for the moment.) 

I like to think I can see long term effects pretty well. Might be something of a prophet, just got enough midi-chlorians to predict terrible terrible things. I also work in quality, and in story, I like a well-written story. I like quality. I like things built to last. I like the revitalization of old material. 

This is an intervention: 

Something that Armada does amazingly well is keeping ship models relevant with the use of unique-ship-based titles. The most primary example is Yavaris, this single handedly gives the Nebulon reason to be on the board, when all of its other stats and values cause it to be unfavorable in efficiency to other options. This is a great thing. It causes model diversity, it retains key usages for earlier wave ships. 

The same is somewhat true for Salvation, Gallant Haven, and Demolisher. Though in the other ships' cases, they also have different uses based on their efficiency. 

The VSD on the other hand was "fixed" by upping its efficiency through upgrades takable by other ships directly. In Xwing, this used to be how fixes worked, but these fixed ships would be neglected once again as the power curve kept rising past even the fix. (See Xwing's Defender, Tie Advanced, Awing - all based on efficiency increase) The VSD might escape this fate by having lots of build options, but I highly doubt so. There are lots of Imperial players already moaning about how bad they think the post-fix VSD is. 

I think its amazing for the game to use unique abilities to keep ship models relevant. At least, there will always be a reason to run one of those models. 

Of course, the down side is that these unique abilities are usually difficult to balance, and often become one of the only reasons to play that model at all. (Let's be honest, Salvation isn't showing lots of top8 results, even if it worked in Gink's Sato. And generic Nebulons aren't seen at all). Sometimes, the cost might need to be baked into the title more, and less into the ship's chassis. 

The Pelta's Fleet command (for cheap) and the Interdictors Experimentals are good examples of how a ship can be made very unique. (We just need better more debilitating Experimentals...) 

--

I want to offer this advice to FFG: Your two game systems (Xwing and Armada) have shown that allowing ships to just use better upgrades that many other ships can take does not work in the long run. More differentiation on unique abilities, traits that only certain ships can do will go a long way to ensuring that model's appearance on the table. It would do well to make ships MORE different than they might be even now. If in the end, the choice of ship is a question of efficiency, instead of methodology and flight pattern, the game will reach a efficiency, min-max based semi-solved state, where the most efficient choices are the most relevant, because other factors like movement become negligibly the same. (The reason why Xwing ships die off: At some point it doesn't matter that the dials are different, movement is a solved state in Xwing). 

That said, you may wish to keep the titles and unique abilities more expensive and the chassis more flexible. 

Offer more different ways to play, and different ways to win. 

You already do this with each wave's game changers: flotillas, rogues, boarding parties, assault, strategic. Keep up the good work. 

Edited by Blail Blerg

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I've had thoughts on this, and one solution that I've come up with is a new upgrade type: Variant.

Here's an example:

2025h.jpg2904h.jpg

It behaves like a title in that a ship can have up to one Variant upgrade card (even though it's obviously not in the upgrade bar). All of mine are non-unique (though, I do have Title/Variant cards which are designed to use both slots that are unique). In these examples they effectively errata the printed card, but there's no reason why they would be restricted to this.

Edited by FoaS

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20 minutes ago, FoaS said:

I've had thoughts on this, and one solution that I've come up with is a new upgrade type: Variant.

I like it! My only suggestion would be that Variants, unlike Titles, are a trade-off and always include a buff *and* a nerf, preferably of roughly equal point values but I have no idea how to judge that.

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I kinda prefer that too. 

But generally, I want to reiterate: Unique reasons for using a ship. If you only care about efficiency/defense/offense, there will always been a best option, and everything else is just plain worse. 

Sometimes you have to do an efficiency fix at the same time as you give it new abilities... maybe not on the same card.  That is difficult. 

Variants are a good idea. 

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30 minutes ago, webv said:

I like it! My only suggestion would be that Variants, unlike Titles, are a trade-off and always include a buff *and* a nerf, preferably of roughly equal point values but I have no idea how to judge that.

I do like the idea of a 'zero-sum' Variant, but it's certainly not the only option.

I've also been using it as a way to do one-off special ships (note the combined Title/Variant upgrade types).

4567h.jpg3486h.jpg3485h.jpg

Edited by FoaS

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... No, these are still about efficiency. And swapping things around eventually starts making ships indistinguishable. Even though, you get the gist of higher cost upgrades... 

Something like 

* Discouragor - 2 pts - 
Raider title
The first time each round a commanded squadron attacks you, assign a raid token of your choice to the activating ship. 

*Fearless - 3 pts - 
Raider title
When attacking a ship with your side arcs that has a larger base than you, add 1 die of any color to your attack pool. 

Both of these titles would highly influence what you expect to use your Raider for. They do something unique, and change the player behavior.  They might be minor buffs to efficiency, but aren't concerned with buffing the Raider up to a higher efficiency standard. 

 

*Brutalizer - 5 pts - 
Gladiator title
When a squadron you activate with bomber attacks a ship, it adds one hit result to its damage total. 

Gladiators don't normally activate squadrons at all. 

 

For a Raider fix I'd do this: 
Impact Bracing
Reconstruct upgrade - 2 points
Raider and Corvus only
When defending at close range against a ship or squadron, during the Modify dice step, you may discard this card and one unspent Evade token to choose two attack dice and reroll them. 

Edited by Blail Blerg

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I've said it before but how about 'fleet' upgrade to the admiral 

limit the types of ship an admiral can take but they get a deployment or 1st turn buff.

 

example - Vader ISD and kitten only, enemy ship deploy at speed 1 or 0

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I often (VERY OFTEN) wonder if the Gladiator didn't have Demolisher, how would the game be in the current day and age. 

I like how they are working with the Task Force titles, be close and get benefits. I want to see more of those and unique titles ideally in a campaign box in the future or even an ace pack like X-wing though i don't think any ship really needs that right now? Maybe the Nebulon or VSD, but both are still viable options with the current array of upgrades and titles. I feel like VSD-1s are a bit on the weak side now though compared to pre-Quasar days.

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19 minutes ago, TallGiraffe said:

VSD-1s are a bit on the weak side now though compared to pre-Quasar days.

They can throw 3 red 3 blue and 5 black out of the front with dominator QBT ER and use BT on 3 defence tokens if you can position him correctly, and as much as that IS the problem, don’t think weak side is the best choice of words :D 

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9 hours ago, FoaS said:

I've had thoughts on this, and one solution that I've come up with is a new upgrade type: Variant.

Here's an example:

2025h.jpg2904h.jpg

It behaves like a title in that a ship can have up to one Variant upgrade card (even though it's obviously not in the upgrade bar). All of mine are non-unique (though, I do have Title/Variant cards which are designed to use both slots that are unique). In these examples they effectively errata the printed card, but there's no reason why they would be restricted to this.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't every ship already *have* variants?  For example, VSD-1 and VSD-2 or CR-90A and CR-90B?  What would be the difference between the ship card variations and your variations?  

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Basically, I want more titles that give unique abilities or double down on certain strategies.

 

...and I want to shamelessly plug the Iron Fist VSD title I keep suggesting. Letting a VSD shoot at obstacles and damage nearby squads if it gets a crit results. It gives single VSD a rather unique way to combat enemy squads. Seriously, FFG can rip that idea right off as I ripped that idea right off already.

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49 minutes ago, Khyros said:

ship already *have* variants?  For example, VSD-1 and VSD-2 or CR-90A and CR-90B?  What would be the difference between the ship card variations and your variations?  

Strictly speaking, yes.

I guess my intent was to have another layer. For example: a CR90-A with Sarne Refit and Dodanna's Pride would play differently than a CR90-B with a Sarne Refit and Tantive IV - for example (not necessarily viable combos, just mentioning it). It was also a way for the Tector and the various Assault Frigate variants to not have 10 ship cards individually.

In any event, I offered my idea, and while it was deemed an interesting one, it seems like it's not quite what OP was looking for (which is totally fair and fine) - so back to it :)

@Blail Blerg - I do like the two ideas you put forth, a lot. I wonder if you have any others up your sleeve.

Edited by FoaS

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2 hours ago, FoaS said:

Strictly speaking, yes.

I guess my intent was to have another layer. For example: a CR90-A with Sarne Refit and Dodanna's Pride would play differently than a CR90-B with a Sarne Refit and Tantive IV - for example (not necessarily viable combos, just mentioning it). It was also a way for the Tector and the various Assault Frigate variants to not have 10 ship cards individually.

In any event, I offered my idea, and while it was deemed an interesting one, it seems like it's not quite what OP was looking for (which is totally fair and fine) - so back to it :)

@Blail Blerg - I do like the two ideas you put forth, a lot. I wonder if you have any others up your sleeve.

Thanks for your ideas. and your interest in mine. 

Sorry, I'm not saying they're not good. They do open up a new niche though, if really changing what that ship looks like, with different defense tokens and very different values. Actually. I think its a good idea. (But a different idea.) 

 

I'm coming up with these mostly on the fly. But I'm generally trying to think about doing things that cause a new play style or make a player think about it differently... Like Brutalizer, for a Gladiator pushing squadrons. (Hey, look possibly a Thrown or Tarkin usage for doing 2 things at once). (Brutalizer probably needs to be a least 9 points though, wow that's a lot more damage.) 

I would be incredibly honored if you wanted to use these, rip them, add them to whatever else you want. We could also talk more about custom cards in another thread. I think you have a thread for this? 

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2 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

Sorry, I'm not saying they're not good. They do open up a new niche though, if really changing what that ship looks like, with different defense tokens and very different values. Actually. I think its a good idea. (But a different idea.) 

No worries - We're on the same page. I follow.

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