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TheChrisLS

State of the Meta: Time to Retire Temp Alliance?

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I was on the ban temp alliance boat from the early days, but now I don’t actually think it would fix anything, Mercs still have the Jawa. They’ll still be able to focus 2 figures per round and draw 2 extra Command cards with 3po, R2 and Jabba.

And I don’t like it when people say Gideon and 3po are too good in Rebels when there is such a huge disparity between the titan pieces of both factions. Han and Luke lack the flexibility, durability, trait support, and raw power that IG-88 brings to the table, and the same can be said about Weequays vs Rangers, especially once you realize that the 4th Weequay costs just 2 more points over 3 elite Rangers. 

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5 hours ago, DTDanix said:

The problem is not Temporary Alliance, the problem is Gideon and 3p0 are just too good right now, for both factions.

Whether that is best fixed by making them cost more or altering abilities, I'm not really sure, but removing TA only addresses the issue for mercs and not rebels.

Alternatively, there could be new cards/abilities that make them not as good/must have.  We'll just have to wait and see.

#DTs3Cards

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11 hours ago, Tvboy said:

I was on the ban temp alliance boat from the early days, but now I don’t actually think it would fix anything, Mercs still have the Jawa. They’ll still be able to focus 2 figures per round and draw 2 extra Command cards with 3po, R2 and Jabba.

And I don’t like it when people say Gideon and 3po are too good in Rebels when there is such a huge disparity between the titan pieces of both factions. Han and Luke lack the flexibility, durability, trait support, and raw power that IG-88 brings to the table, and the same can be said about Weequays vs Rangers, especially once you realize that the 4th Weequay costs just 2 more points over 3 elite Rangers. 

You could make an argument for sure about JKL and his traits but anything about Han is ridiculous. Smuggler is one of the top traits in the game and leader has always been a great one. 

 

It’s fairly obvious that Gideon and 3PO are two of the best figures in the game and could use a small setback. Being almost auto included in 2/3 of the lists since the game released is more than enough proof. 

 

We talk about how Temp Alliance limits design space for Mercenaries but Gideon and 3PO existing in thier current state does the exact same thing to Rebels and has for a long time. 

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I don't know that this shakes up the Meta though (OP, Original topic) Gideon has always been the best point for point figure in the game IMO

3Po is so useful he should be included in most lists if he can.

Jawas do not need a nerf

None of this will change what is taken in a Merc List though.  If you toss Gideon, the makeup of Merc lists will stay similar.  I like that there are other useful smugglers to bring in like Alliance Smuggler and Hera. I'd love to see Ezra, Zeb, Drokkatta in Merc lists, etc, which is fun and diverse.

Right now competitively, IG88 and 2 eWeeqays with rebel care package fills up the list almost completely.

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3 hours ago, TheUnsullied said:

It’s fairly obvious that Gideon and 3PO are two of the best figures in the game and could use a small setback. Being almost auto included in 2/3 of the lists since the game released is more than enough proof. 

Agreed.

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The attachment upgrades for Vader, Han and IG are proving to be just a bit too good. Han at 10 pts completely outclasses so many others, IG at 15 HP for the same points is proving to be an incredible threat and Vader at 13 pts is a monster. You don't have to play any of those 3 to win but it sure makes things much easier for you to have at least one of them. 

As much as the Rebel Care Package is "ezmode" I also think the "big 3" were not properly adjusted.

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Just now, Bitterman said:

Agreed.

The other option is to come up with competition for those slots. Lists with 15 points of support fall apart; there just isn't other support as meaningful as Gideon/3P0. Hera feels like an early attempt, but with her attack and tools-platform smuggler trait, she fits more as an addition to support than an alternative option. Death Troopers, Clawdites, and even Ko-Tun show some archetypal experimentation: support figures that shift into aggression in the middle rounds. The developers seem to at least be tracking the problem. Even Death Troopers will shake things up a bit -- part of the advantage of the RCP(+) is that it racks up activation count quickly with useful early manuevering, so re-balancing that does do a bit to combat Gideon/3P0's potency, and the death troopers can then sync up for a consolidated hit in a way that Gideon/3P0 can't.

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1 minute ago, GottaBadFeelingAboutThis said:

The other option is to come up with competition for those slots.

Maybe. The risk with it is that we just end up with even more units we'll never use. Something else comes along that's intended as competition for, but actually ends up plain better than, C-3PO/Gideon? Well, I guess we won't see C-3PO/Gideon any more, then (nor the stuff that's currently left out in favour of C-3PO/Gideon).

If new stuff keeps getting better to provide "competition" to the stuff that's currently too good, the old stuff just doesn't get used. In an ideal world (and I recognise how difficult this is to actually achieve) pretty much any unit should be usable under the right conditions, used well, at least situationally. As it is... there's a very large selection of units available, and a very small subset of units that you might actually choose to take. Surely it'd be better to buff the weak units, and nerf the too-strong units, than just add more units? The best you can hope to do with that is make "too strong" the new "standard", and maybe if you get that right you'll only see C-3PO/Gideon one game in four or five, instead of every game; but all those Stormtroopers and AT-STs and Nexu and everything else will still remain very firmly in the box, gathering yet more dust.

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6 minutes ago, Bitterman said:

Maybe. The risk with it is that we just end up with even more units we'll never use. Something else comes along that's intended as competition for, but actually ends up plain better than, C-3PO/Gideon? Well, I guess we won't see C-3PO/Gideon any more, then (nor the stuff that's currently left out in favour of C-3PO/Gideon). 

If new stuff keeps getting better to provide "competition" to the stuff that's currently too good, the old stuff just doesn't get used. In an ideal world (and I recognise how difficult this is to actually achieve) pretty much any unit should be usable under the right conditions, used well, at least situationally. As it is... there's a very large selection of units available, and a very small subset of units that you might actually choose to take. Surely it'd be better to buff the weak units, and nerf the too-strong units, than just add more units? The best you can hope to do with that is make "too strong" the new "standard", and maybe if you get that right you'll only see C-3PO/Gideon one game in four or five, instead of every game; but all those Stormtroopers and AT-STs and Nexu and everything else will still remain very firmly in the box, gathering yet more dust. 

You seem bitter, man. 😜

But yeah, I agree that's the risk.

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For the sake of argument, how would nerfing Gideon and C-3PO be done? I don’t agree that it is needed for Rebels, but I’m wanting to set up experiments to determine the effects of various solutions. 

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23 minutes ago, TheChrisLS said:

For the sake of argument, how would nerfing Gideon and C-3PO be done? I don’t agree that it is needed for Rebels, but I’m wanting to set up experiments to determine the effects of various solutions. 

The most obvious way is to increase their cost by 1 each.  They're still good even at 4 and 3.

Another thing you can do to Gideon is reduce the range on his 2 abilities.  He'll still be good, but it will make him a bit clunkier later in the game.

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23 minutes ago, TheChrisLS said:

For the sake of argument, how would nerfing Gideon and C-3PO be done? I don’t agree that it is needed for Rebels, but I’m wanting to set up experiments to determine the effects of various solutions. 

I’m not sure if there are any good answers here. I hate having erratas on cards that we have because it’s annoying having to remember everything but I really think if we are talking about things that limit design space that the RCP+ is the biggest problem. For me it doesn’t matter if the 5 points is an auto include in Mercs or in Rebels it’s still a problem. 

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27 minutes ago, TheChrisLS said:

For the sake of argument, how would nerfing Gideon and C-3PO be done? I don’t agree that it is needed for Rebels, but I’m wanting to set up experiments to determine the effects of various solutions. 

I've come around to the side of Gideon can only focus Rebel figures like Jabba can only focus Merc figures.  I'd leave C-3PO alone. He's just distracting you from Gideon, who is the real threat.

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I think what we need are some experiments with proposed solutions. Set up scenarios vs set lists and players of comparable skill, then swap between the current meta and the proposed meta. I’ll build something later for review. 

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58 minutes ago, Bitterman said:

Surely it'd be better to buff the weak units, and nerf the too-strong units, than just add more units? The best you can hope to do with that is make "too strong" the new "standard", and maybe if you get that right you'll only see C-3PO/Gideon one game in four or five, instead of every game; but all those Stormtroopers and AT-STs and Nexu and everything else will still remain very firmly in the box, gathering yet more dust.

"New Releases Make Things Way Too Strong Until We Nerf Them" is the version 1 X-Wing method.

But I think there's something to increasing the power curve slowly, which I think is happening now in IA. I can understand, when Jabba's Realm first came out, folks who didn't want to play elite Weequays or elite Jet Troopers felt left out. But the game has gotten consistently more diverse and challenging to play with each subsequent release of stuff. As Worlds showed us, at least one list in each faction that is strongest. After Tyrants of Lothal & whatever other expansion or A/V blister wave after that, I can't imagine any of those existing lists becoming worse. Instead, other types of figures will get buffs to make them more playable.

For example, from just what little we know about Tyrants, we see 3 Skirmish Upgrade cards that have the potential of making current non-top-tier lists stronger. The unique Skirmish Upgrade cards Doubt and Heavy Fire do not appear to be attachments, so we can presume that they will help figures in a specific trait (Force Users & Vehicles, probably). Heavy Fire might punch up an already strong Vader/eJet list (if the card is not restricted to massive vehicles), but it may help make the AT-DP or AT-ST even better, too. Extra Armor appears to give out block tokens likely at the start of the game; even if it is restricted by trait(s), those figures get just that much more survivability. We'll have to find out how much these upgrades helps those figures... and helping another army structure be considered as strong as the current big 3.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to have a big sweeping change to come out and automatically make every older figure viable. (Me saying otherwise would be hypocritical!) But, so far, it seems the developers are doing enough playtesting to make sure we're not gonna have Emergency FAQ Update for Skirmish.

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4 hours ago, TheUnsullied said:

You could make an argument for sure about JKL and his traits but anything about Han is ridiculous. Smuggler is one of the top traits in the game and leader has always been a great one. 

Being a Smuggler gives Han access to On the Lam and that's about it. Han and IG both have Tools. IG gets Assassinate, Reflexes, etc. And leader gives what, Officers Training for a reroll Han already has? Planning? Inspiring Speech?

I wonder if IG players would give up Blaze of Glory for any combination of Han's unique or smuggler command cards. I doubt it.

IMO, IG has access to much better command cards than Han. Luke actually has great command cards, SoS obviously but also some of the Force User and Brawler cards, but the problem is those traits don't align with any of the Rebels other core units, and Luke suffers from being melee and not being able to play the peek-a-boo game that ranged units like Han and IG get to pull off, and he is always restricted to attacking adjacent units whereas IG can make stronger attacks than Luke at range 1-3, and then modify his dice as needed to attack at effectively any range. Han has a different problem of relying on Command cards and Dodge rolls and Distracting to keep him alive, which both can be dismantled with things like spy cards and defense re-rolls or disruption. IG's defense is much more consistent being a black+1, less swingy and more difficult to disrupt. 

The point is... if you nerf Gideon and 3po for both factions without taking away Temp Alliance, you will actually be disproportionately hurting Rebels more than Mercs, because Mercs will still have access to every support figure in Rebels on top of things like Jabba and Clawdites that the Rebels don't have. That's the biggest problem with Temp Alliance, allowing 1 faction to unilaterally "harvest" from another means that any figures introduced to help Rebels are only going to make Mercs that much stronger, and leaves the 1 faction that doesn't get to harvest from the others with way less options.  

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29 minutes ago, DTDanix said:

The most obvious way is to increase their cost by 1 each.  They're still good even at 4 and 3.

Another thing you can do to Gideon is reduce the range on his 2 abilities.  He'll still be good, but it will make him a bit clunkier later in the game.

Oooh, I haven't really thought about bumping Gideon's cost up. If he were to come out today, I'd bet he's be cost 5 or higher. 

If you bump both of their deployment costs up, that makes running an 8-activation list much more difficult, too. 

I need to play around with Gideon's & Threepio's cost. Having Gideon cost 3 but have the nerfs I suggested felt pretty good when I tested them a while back.

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The thing I probably need to emphasize is that I view the problems w/ Gideon being the hands down best 3 points in the game and the problems that TA brings as to distinct and separate issues.

And I'm fine with nerfing them both.  In fact, I wouldn't advocate for a change to TA in a vacuum, but as part of a game wide balancing pass.

I keep hearing that TA supposedly brings "list diversity" but the reality is that diversity is an illusion.  You will always bring the 2 best rebel units for your list.  Nerf Gideon, you'll bring Hera.  Nerf Hera?  Bring R2-D2.

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Yeah, I'd like to see one, none, many, or all of:

  • Gideon and/or C-3PO's abilities (and perhaps Hera and others too?) changed to only affect <Rebel> figures.
  • Gideon and/or C-3PO's deployment costs increased by +1.
  • Gideon's abilities changed to have a maximum range of 2 or 3 spaces.
  • Temporary Alliance to only allow bringing in non-Unique units.
  • Temporary Alliance made non-Unique but Elite, and changed to allow bringing in only 1 unit, not 2. (In other words, you have to take it twice if you want to bring in two allied units, paying 2 points instead of 1).
  • Temporary Alliance (Scum version, or both) to be completely removed.

...but there might be other balance stuff that's needed at the same time. Gideon and C-3PO (with or without Temporary Alliance) are maybe the most egregious examples because they're so cheap and so efficient they can fit into just about any list, and I think that's the main problem with them - they end up appearing in every list, or that's the way it feels sometimes.

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Posted (edited)

Folks, this has been a great discussion, but now I think it is time to put our money where our mouths are. We have some good ideas, but what we don't have is data. So here is my suggestion:

Let's choose one particular fix at a time, and play some games with that fix and without it. Choose viable, current meta lists in two scenarios, one objective based and one more kill-em-all based. We could use Uscru as the map to start, as it has both of those factors and has already been played extensively at Worlds. If someone has a better suggestion, I'm happy to consider them as well.

An example could be to consider the fix of increasing the costs of Gideon and C-3PO. Play two games of a scenario without the fix, swapping lists to control for player skill. Then, play the same scenario, same basic lists, with the fixes put in place. For example, you could play Greg Monson's Han/Rangers list vs a Vader/Jet list, with the second set of games taking out a Smuggler or RHC and adding points to both C-3PO and Gideon.

Another example: Replay the final using DT's and Greg's lists to test banning TA. After the first two games, play two more without Hera, Gideon, and TA in DT's list, and add in another 8 points.

We should all play the same scenario and fix and then assemble a table of results so we can compare how these changes affect the lists. One thing we should NOT do is play the fix against itself, such as increasing the cost of Gideon and C-3PO then playing DT's and Greg's lists against each other.

4 hours ago, Bitterman said:

Yeah, I'd like to see one, none, many, or all of:

  • Gideon and/or C-3PO's abilities (and perhaps Hera and others too?) changed to only affect <Rebel> figures.
  • Gideon and/or C-3PO's deployment costs increased by +1.
  • Gideon's abilities changed to have a maximum range of 2 or 3 spaces.
  • Temporary Alliance to only allow bringing in non-Unique units.
  • Temporary Alliance made non-Unique but Elite, and changed to allow bringing in only 1 unit, not 2. (In other words, you have to take it twice if you want to bring in two allied units, paying 2 points instead of 1).
  • Temporary Alliance (Scum version, or both) to be completely removed.

 

I think Bitterman has a good list of potential fixes: I think the best two to start testing would be limiting Hera and Gideon to Rebel Only (effectively the same as getting rid of Scum TA in practice) and increasing the prices of Gideon and C-3PO. Other thoughts?

Edited by TheChrisLS

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1. I would leave Hera be as she is

2. I would limit Gideon to rebel only

3. I would introduce range of 3 spaces for Gideon abilities

4. C3PO could lose distracting (so he has only one support ability)

 

I think that Gideon is the most problematic figure right now. I do not see Hera in every merc list. 

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53 minutes ago, Jarema said:

2. I would limit Gideon to rebel only

 

this is all I see to be necessary. Gideon will still be in every rebel list, he doesn't need to be in every Merc list too. This opens the door for those Force User Merc lists, Heavy weapon Drokatta and BT1 lists etc.

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If only Gideon was limited to Rebel only, I guarantee you Hera would start showing up in Merc lists. I saw Hera in 2/3 of the Merc lists I faced at Worlds, and she was in at least two Top 16 Merc lists. 

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I second limiting Gideon's abilities to Rebels only. C-3PO and Hera can remain as is. My beef with RCP is that Scum benefits more from it than it does the Rebels.

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