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Commander Kaine

What IS "Rebel Bias"?

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Some of you have poked fun at my 102% serious claim of Rebel Bias, and with the advent of 2nd edition, I feel the need to explain what do I exactly mean by this term. 

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Now, as you have pointed it out, rebels sometimes get shafted, and other factions are sometimes great. How could I still see rebel bias everywhere, when there are clearly examples of great imperial and scum ships? Well... here is the explanation, you've been all waiting for. This little piece is about 1.0, mostly because we know more about it. Also, there is maybe 1.5% chance of the designers actually abandoning their wrongful practices, but don't get your hopes up. 

 

Contrary to what you might think, Rebel bias doesn't actually mean that ALL rebel ships are supremely overpowered. It means, that certain notions of balance, lore accuracy, and design principles are often abandoned when creating rebel content. This is done in comparison to imperial content, which is very conservative. 

"Now hold up" I hear you say. "Isn't that the same?"

No. Not at all. But first, let me insert a disclaimer here, because I have a feeling you will mention this otherwise. I don't think that every rebel ship is the result of this process. There are exceptions. 

Rebel bias means that when designing ships, the devs rather err on the strong side with rebel ships... Now if you think I am some crazy person, think about it for a second. 

This phenomenon is not unknown by wargamers. In EVERY edition of Warhammer, spacemarines were viable. They might not have been the best, but they weren't atrocious. It's because they are the mascot faction. Most of their IP revolves around space marines, they manufacture most of the figures for that faction. It would be financially unwise for them to make them unplayable. Their most recognizable product, is always viable. Maybe not the best, but just to be safe, they cannot be bad. 

Star Wars, as I'm sure will come as a surprise to noone, is a bit skewed towards some factions. In a given time period, the main guys are always the Rebellion, Republic or the Resistance. (ReReRe... Haven't even noticed that before)

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This translates to X-Wing very well. Now I'm going to give you an example, and just to beat on a dead horse, i'm going to illustrate my point with the Punisher and the K-Wing. Why? Because they were released at the same time, and they are supposed to fill a similar role. 

I can believe that the K-Wing was supposed to be stronger by a tiny bit in design, and this is represented by the point cost difference. However, one does not need to be a rocket engineer to realize the difference between them is a tad larger than what the point cost lets you to believe. Many of my peers will say that this is just sheer incompetence, and that the Punisher was just THAT much weaker because the designers are THAT bad. 

So. 

PWT. Turret slot. Crew slot. Slam.

Vs.

Front arc. Double missile slot. System slot. Boost. 

 

Sure enough, looks quite similar. They have the same amount of stuff... but the stuff is much better on the rebel side. So much better than pretty much everyone can immediately realize how uneven this comparison is. Just looking at an arc coverage, the K-Wing covers 4 times the area of the Punisher, while being more mobile. (A frequent problem with 1.0 design). Rebel crew slots are also famously powerful. Plus regeneration on Miranda... Now ask yourself the question... Do you think that anyone seriously believed that the Punisher is worth just a single point less? Now, if yes, what makes you think these people are even able to create any semblance of balance, lacking such fundamental understanding of game mechanics? This is a BIG difference. 

Why? Why does such a big difference between power even exist? How could they not see it? 

Or was it that they were aware of the discrepancy between the ships, but they choose to under cost the K-Wing on purpose, to err on the side of the heroes? 

If you doubt that, think about the TIE aggressor. Why didn't it get an EPT on the second generic? Well, I guess they were afraid of the TLT-Ruthlessness combo... But do you think that the same people who wouldn't be concerned by releasing miranda, would be by a relatively weak synergy? Consider that in the same wave they made several lapses in judgement, again, erring on the side of rebel power. 

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Star Wars lacks nuance, and this can be seen in how the fiction treats its factions. There is a reason why they call a tanky rebel list Plot armor. There is more rebel crew, because there are more rebel characters. Simple is that. There are things inherent to the universe that favor rebels, and the designers in 1.0 didn't do a good job of balancing these factors. They have been enhancing this effect, especially by being careful with SOME cards, and not others. 

 

Do you ever feel when you are flipping through imperial cards that these are ALMOST good? They just have a bit too many restrictions. If you wanna have fun, go and read imperial only upgrades and abilities, and compare them with similar abilities from others. 2.0 Wedge vs Soontir is a very good example of this, and a reason why I am worried about 2.0.

Luke Gunner is also suspect. 

If you have above average perception abilities, you might notice how both Wedge and Luke are rebel characters. 

 

 

so, I don't know what is your explanation to these things... Can they just be this blind, as to create blunders like the Punisher, without even realizing what are they doing? I seriously doubt it. To me it doesn't seem so far fetched, when you look at certain Rebel crew cards... They are way more efficient than most other crews, and they are well known characters... Is it an accident that the famous quasi protagonist of a TV show called Rebels, is a meta defining card with insane value? 

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#rebelbias

To me, Rebel bias is...

Rebels have TWO 4-attack ships. The other factions have none. It is scum having 4 ship dials nerfed, while Rebels only have 1 nerfed dial, and it's the Falcon, so you know they'll just keep lowering points till it wins. Rebel bias is Talonbane Cobra getting thrown in the gutter, stripped of I6 & given a commoners I5. All this while Dash is lovingly given I5 while Bossk festers at I4. The moral outrages go on and on. Maybe, if we're brave and share our storys of suffering, something will one day change.

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I guess I always thought of it from a very different angle. It used to always seem to me that both sides could bend the meta around them, but only one side would get corrected for immediately. But I'm not sure I can hold to that, cause my memory is a bit hazy on it and I never did a deep dive into the numbers. So from my.... half informed? perspective, it felt like if Rebels were dominant, life continued as normal. If Imps were, it had to be fixed. TIE swarms or arc dodgers doing well? RELEASE THE TURRETS! Turrets doing well? *crickets* PS race getting out of hand for Soontir/Vader/Whisper? HARD NERF! PS race for Wedge, Fat Han, Wes Janson working well? *crickets* So basically it just felt like if Imps had something powerful, the game and meta immediately forced a correction, but only in that direction. I would also see a strange bias in rules interpretations: for instance, the ability to spend a focus token or target lock to change or reroll no dice was legal, yet there were zero Imperial abilities that could leverage that legality, while there were several Rebel pilots that could.

 

But now? Now I just don't care. Cause I get to fly all the Defenders I want. They make me happy. Even before the x7 title. Rexler + HLC + Predator was my jam. Someone laughed at him once. They stopped laughing when they lost Miranda on the second round of firing. Beautiful.

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7 minutes ago, Dengar5 said:

#rebelbias

To me, Rebel bias is...

Rebels have TWO 4-attack ships. The other factions have none. It is scum having 4 ship dials nerfed, while Rebels only have 1 nerfed dial, and it's the Falcon, so you know they'll just keep lowering points till it wins. Rebel bias is Talonbane Cobra getting thrown in the gutter, stripped of I6 & given a commoners I5. All this while Dash is lovingly given I5 while Bossk festers at I4. The moral outrages go on and on. Maybe, if we're brave and share our storys of suffering, something will one day change.

whid1.gif

 

I feel filthy

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17 minutes ago, Icelom said:

Explain the u-wing released with the striker..

Or the tie/sf released with the arc170?

I did enjoy the read.

 

 

 

Its not that the Rebels can't have nice things, its that their nice things are never considered a problem. Palp Aces was a problem, the phantom was a problem. Han wasn't a problem, you just needed to be able to boost and not in his front arc. Biggs wasn't a problem until the end of 1.0. Miranda wasn't a problem, Sabine wasn't a problem. Attanni mindlink was a problem. That's Rebel bias.

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30 minutes ago, Icelom said:

Explain the u-wing released with the striker..

Or the tie/sf released with the arc170?

I did enjoy the read.

 

 

 

 

U-Wing is a better version of the Lambda... I'm not sure what you mean? The striker and the U-Wing are two very different ships, they cannot be compared. If you refer to the idea that the U-Wing is bad, that's because it is overshined by other, more powerful rebel craft, that can do the same function. The chassis itself is not actually bad. 

 

The SF and the Arc are both extremely well designed ships, in 1.0 context. The SF was more prominent due to higher PS, and missiles, but their relative power was pretty similar, while providing fun interactions for you and your opponent. 

 

Also, I did mention that there are exceptions to the this. Several times, in fact. 

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Completely agree, Kaine (not sarcastically this time). 

It's probably mostly subconscious, in the dev's defense, but not entirely unexpected. 

The game is called X-wing. 

Ironically, the original mathematical balance was supposedly in favor of the TIE instead of the T65.

But as you said, there were exceptions. 

Maybe it mostly comes down to the devs generally having more intrinsically exciting ideas to throw the good-guy's way....

"Oooo, let's make him crash through obstacles and not take damage or lose actions! That'll be so cool!"

 

As a designer, I can relate.

 

On the topic of pilot abilities; unfortunately for the empire, their arsenal doesn't really inspire a lot of cool abilities. 

Expendable TIEs. 

Fancy tech. Efficient industry.

Personally, I also feel like they fell a bit short even on designing THOSE fundemental aspects of Imperial faction identity early on. 

I would've loved cheaper stuff on nearly EVERY ship for the empire. (Seriously, I did the math once.)

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24 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

I'm willing to listen to your alternatives. 

There is no alternative. The claim just isn’t at all testable. You can’t prove it right. Nobody else can prove it wrong. It’s a silly exercise that, at best, will drive some people to dislike an enjoyable game. /golfclap

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7 minutes ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

There is no alternative. The claim just isn’t at all testable. You can’t prove it right. Nobody else can prove it wrong. It’s a silly exercise that, at best, will drive some people to dislike an enjoyable game. /golfclap

Well, its not there for you to prove wrong. 

 

Also, this comment describes most of the threads here... And if anything, 2.0 showed us that FFG listens to at least some criticism. And if an internet troll can make you dislike X-Wing, maybe you didn't like it enough. 

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Honestly, though,  far more excited about 2.0 imperials than rebels

Rebel unboxing was kinda...dull. even the Ewing superbuff is just a nifty xwing with long range scanners 

But empire? Oh man, the possibilities

The sexy Palp/Vader/Inquisitor/Sloane/cienna crews

The amazing Stygium array rework of the phantom

The superbuffed bomber, punisher, lambda, defender, and xg-1 title

 

 

Meanwhile my favorite rebel ship got...a medium base? Red barrel roll?

And what? 4 dice vcx and yt2400? Yawn. 4 dice ain't nothing you can't price around

What you can't price around I've already gone over and wasn't in the unboxing, so we just have to hope it impacts as painlessly as possible

But otherwise? Not feeling the bias 

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1 minute ago, ficklegreendice said:

Honestly, though,  far more excited about 2.0 imperials than rebels

Rebel unboxing was kinda...dull. even the Ewing superbuff is just a nifty xwing with long range scanners 

But empire? Oh man, the possibilities

The sexy Palp/Vader/Inquisitor/Sloane/cienna crews

The amazing Stygium array rework of the phantom

The superbuffed bomber, punisher, lambda, defender, and xg-1 title

 

 

Meanwhile my favorite rebel ship got...a medium base? Red barrel roll?

And what? 4 dice vcx and yt2400? Yawn. 4 dice ain't nothing you can't price around

What you can't price around I've already gone over and wasn't in the unboxing, so we just have to hope it impacts as painlessly as possible

But otherwise? Not feeling the bias 

It really depends on the upgrades, and how well they work together to create the faction identities. Also pricing... 

 

I have a secret fear that 5 X-wings are still possible in 2.0

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14 minutes ago, ficklegreendice said:

Honestly, though,  far more excited about 2.0 imperials than rebels

Rebel unboxing was kinda...dull. even the Ewing superbuff is just a nifty xwing with long range scanners 

But empire? Oh man, the possibilities

The sexy Palp/Vader/Inquisitor/Sloane/cienna crews

The amazing Stygium array rework of the phantom

The superbuffed bomber, punisher, lambda, defender, and xg-1 title

 

 

Meanwhile my favorite rebel ship got...a medium base? Red barrel roll?

And what? 4 dice vcx and yt2400? Yawn. 4 dice ain't nothing you can't price around

What you can't price around I've already gone over and wasn't in the unboxing, so we just have to hope it impacts as painlessly as possible

But otherwise? Not feeling the bias 

I'm curious, what do you see as the use-case for Palpatine assuming he's one of the most expensive Imperial crew, whatever that means. Maybe like 15-16 points? Without the ability to influence blanks, I'm not sure how I feel about him. 

I do like the idea of Vader doing a ride-along in a Phantom though. :)

Edited by PenguinBonaparte

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9 minutes ago, PenguinBonaparte said:

I'm curious, what do you see as the use-case for Palpatine assuming he's one of the most expensive Imperial crew, whatever that means. Maybe like 15-16 points? Without the ability to influence blanks, I'm not sure how I feel about him. 

I do like the idea of Vader doing a ride-along in a Phantom though. :)

given palp's just a forcus now, gotta imagine he's less than 16 points

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2 minutes ago, ficklegreendice said:

given palp's just a forcus now, gotta imagine he's less than 16 points

Not saying it's not a good ability, but with the 2 crew slots and whatnot, it seems like you still have to base a list around him and I'm not sure it's worth that cost. 

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