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Mandelore of the Rings

4 Player Skirmish Qs

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This forum is pretty dead so maybe now is a good time for some four player skirmish qs.

We've only tried the Hoth map but REALLY like playing 2 vs 2.  I really like the partner dynamic (that's why Euchre is still one of my all time favorite games).  We plan on trying the JR map this weekend.  Which is better, the HotE or the JR four player map? 

We've been doing any combos of teams except Imps and Rebs but are there official limitations?  Would I be able to use an Imp team if my partner was using Rebs?

I heard it was featured at the Worlds (four player).  How did that turn out?  Anyone know what the winning teams were? 

I think the strategy gets a lot more interesting with the 2 vs 2 game (1 vs 1 is great too, but with four people and thinking about turns and order and helping out your partner without giving too much away to the other team adds a lot of fun).  Who else is a big fan of 2 vs 2.

Finally, we haven't tried all against all yet but I can see it probably wouldn't be fair for whoever gets ganged up on.  Has anyone tried that?  How is it?

Thanks!

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I've only done Hoth as well, but my goal is to have a 4 player map tournament.

There aren't any limitations that I've seen. The JR and HotE maps are much bigger and much more expansive which i think of as a bonus as Hoth allowed shooting each other from the deployment zones a little too easy

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I love 2 v 2 AND 4-player free for all. I played the 4-player free for all at World's last year and it was super fun. Essentially you end up teaming up, but by no means have to. I won the first game and lost the 2nd game because the winner used IG (he was not officially released yet, just a pre-release). I was winning by a good amount until late in the game until he came in and killed 20 pts to win the game (activated, blaze to activate again, initiative to activate again). It was pretty insane and from then on I knew how good IG was. 

Having this feature further cements my opinion that this game is the best value out there. Campaign, solo campaign, skirmish, multi-player skirmish, painting. I'm pretty sure it's also why skirmish isn't so hot, hence not much chatter on the boards. This game draws in people for different reasons, which can draw them away from other aspects of it. Those who have not tried 4-player skirmish have been missing out. Funny you ask this as well, as just yesterday I informed our group that we would be having a 4-player skirmish tournament in September. You can pick partners in advance and must choose 1 faction (each with 40 pts to command) and no duplicate uniques are allowed. Our August tournament you must bring a wookie or creature into your squad, so the next month's 4-player skirmish theme should be a hoot too. 

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good to know Brigadier.

I thought a format where you  changed partners every round and played 3 rounds.  You still score the same, but you'll have to partner to come out on top and you'll never know which figures your partner will have, so it would be a new challenge for each round.

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I like that format idea, buckero0.  Sounds like an interesting variant.  I do think that partners that played together quite a bit though could develop some really good strategies and good chemistry over time (just like any team sport).  But your format would be good for more casual settings (especially when certain players have much more experience than others-- so everyone could have a chance to partner with everyone else).

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One of the guys in our local club suggested we started trying out four player skirmishes last night ... should be fun and gets a few of us involved at the same time

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Another interesting thing about 2v2 is that it might change the value of some figures when they are a part of a pool of 80 points, not just 40.  For example (off the top of my head), Kayn Somos might be a bit more useful with more troopers to command (although he still needs to be adjacent) and it makes his price seem not as bad when you have 80 to choose from.  Maybe Fenn would even be playable... nah.  Still too expensive.  Fett might not be half bad though, with a bigger group, and his mobility and speed would help on those giant maps too. 

Although, just thinking about a double (80pts) Ugnaught swarm...   ugggh. 

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Posted (edited)

Our group prefers the FFA variant so we don't have to worry about balancing teams and quarterbacking, since we usually do multiplayer games on the fly when we have enough people and everyone's tired of playing 1v1. 2v2 can feel like a bigger version of 1v1, whereas FFA feels very different from that.

I also enjoy the politics that come with true multiplayer games, convincing someone that somebody else on the table is a bigger threat or manipulating two players into fighting so I can sneak in and grab some objectives is very fun and not available in 1v1 or 2v2 games. 

The JR and HOTE maps are good at punishing players who choose to ignore 1 of their fronts to try to gang up on just one of their neighbors, that usually means conceding a ton of objective points to the neighbor that you decide not to attack. Looking at the RtH map, it looks like that maps objectives actually reward going all in on one player and ignoring your other neighbor, so yeah I'd avoid playing FFA on that map.  

 

Edited by Tvboy

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2v2 allows for split strategies as well. My son and I played against a mate and his son today. I ran a rancor/bantha unshakeable list and my son ran ig/weequays. It was a good blend between ranged attacks and in your face melee. Best of both worlds.

Its a much more social game and is a good way to teach the game to noobs.

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That's tons of fun, Imjustapug!  We played this afternoon and it was my daughter and I against two friends.  She had a super focus friendly Rebel list and I had Iggy and Onar etc.  We managed to knock out our friends AT-DP before he even got one attack (pretty lucky) and even though they Comm Dissed my Blaze of Glory we still won 61 to 41 (with some admittedly pretty lucky rolls-- but I'll take it for the fun of winning with my daughter!). 

Next time we are going to keep the alternating order but set up friendly armies adjacent to one another.  Means well be able to help friendly armies more, not have to watch our flanks and have some crazy fighting in the middle of the board...    Love the 2v2 (although the length can start to drag...)

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Posted (edited)

Played a 2v2 game this weekend after a tournament. Initially I thought we were going to play FFA, but the other 2 thought we were playing 2v2 so I gave in and gave it a try. Played against a father/son team, the son was running DT's IG list and the dad was running a Jawa/Trando/Bossk Under Duress list. Me and my teammate were both running Rangers lists since that's what we had brought with us, though I had Han, Hera, Smugglers and R2 and my teammate had Ko-Tun, Drokotta, and Mak. We played on Nal Hutta borderlands and I got the red zone and IG player got the green zone. 

Despite the fact that our opponents were more experienced than us, our shared Rangers gave our lists great synergy that deterred our opponents from venturing out in the open to claim the objectives and turrets. I told my teammate we should try to team up on the IG players list, but the Jawa player was making bold moves into my teammates side of the board and he felt he needed to respond, so I was left to fight IG and the hunters on my own. IG and the pirates confined themselves in the hallway leading out of their deployment zone, and I was able to double-move a focused Han up to the objective by the Green deployment zone and smoked a Weequay end-of round. Despite IG 1-shotting Han at the top of round 2 with Assassinate+Turret damage, we were able to take an early lead on both objectives and kills in round 1 and solidified our lead in round 2 , thanks to the weird rule that allowed me to play all my great Hunter cards on my team-mates rangers instead of having to wait for initiative to come around to me, and we were able to kill Bossk, Shyla, Greedo and another Pirate before the round ended, leading to a concession so they could get started on the long drive home. 

This was actually my first full 2v2 game (I'd only played 2v1 with 2v2 rules before) and it was fun and interesting, but it felt weird that players could play their command cards on their teammate's figures due to how the rules are worded in the RRG. Theoretically it means that one player can play Son of Skywalker on their teammate's Luke, and that Luke and IG can possibly activate 3 times in a single round. We also allowed teammates to show each other their hands without showing the opponents, which also felt off since technically team-mates aren't supposed to sit next to each other.

We had some discussion about the possibility of a team tournament after Store Champs are over, but I'm thinking about the following rules changes to make things a little more interesting. A) Both teammates must be playing the same faction. B) List building restrictions apply across both lists. So no duplicates of uniques, only 2 total of any elite group, etc. C) Command deck restrictions apply normally to each player, but command cards can only be played on a figure owned by that player, although if the card text specifically mentions friendly figures, that effect can target either teammate's figures (ie Inspiring Speech, Miracle Worker). That way you won't see ridiculous things like both players putting Son of Skywalker in their decks, or having 2 copies of Assassinate played in the same activation (and possibly on the same attack!). And it would also increase variety in the units used and make players think about where to allocate the critical support pieces for each faction. 

The downside to these rules is it makes it difficult for players to just walk-in with a list and pair up with somebody, but I'm hoping by the time Store Champs season is ending our community will have gotten to know each other a lot better and people would be able to pair up ahead of time so they can work out a list together. 

Edited by Tvboy

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4 hours ago, Tvboy said:

but it felt weird that players could play their command cards on their teammate's figures due to how the rules are worded in the RRG.

It has been a while since I played 2v2, but what is the wording quirk that allows this?

cool report otherwise. Definitely need to get back to 2v2 after U.S. nationals...

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Command cards with a restriction box are played on a single friendly figure, and your team-mate's figures are friendly figures. And some effects from non-attachment skirmish upgrades may be useful on those figures as well.

(You still cannot play the same command card more than once per timing instance.)

 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Doordonot said:

It has been a while since I played 2v2, but what is the wording quirk that allows this?

cool report otherwise. Definitely need to get back to 2v2 after U.S. nationals...

So I went back and looked and the rule actually comes from page 5 of the Core set Skirmish Guide, not the RRG.

"Many Command cards have a restriction box listed above the ability. These cards must be played on a single friendly figure that matches the restrictions listed (often a trait or figure name [Tvboy note: this includes "Any Figure" cards]). If the player does not have any eligible figures on the map, then he cannot play the card. Command cards with a restriction box use the word “you” to refer to the figure using the ability"

This is the only thing in the rules that actually explains how playing command cards works, and it's also the only thing that stops you from, for example, playing Parting Blow on your opponent's Vader to make him attack his friends and become Stunned, because note that the final sentence specifies that the word "you" always refers to the figure that is using the ability, not the player. That rule combines with the rule that is present in every expansion rulebook that Team Battle appears in:

All figures belonging to opponents are hostile, and all figures belonging to your teammate are friendly.

9 minutes ago, a1bert said:

(You still cannot play the same command card more than once per timing instance.)

But wouldn't you be able to theoretically have both players play the same command card in the same timing instance? The relevant rule is:

• A player cannot play multiple copies of the same Command card at the same time. For example, if a card provides “+2 Accuracy,” the player cannot play two copies of the card to gain +4 Accuracy for one attack.

But in Team Battle, there are 2 separate players, there is no rule I could find that says that a Team is considered a single player for playing Command cards, therefore RAW it should be legal for 2 players to both play Assassinate on the same attack. 

 

Also can somebody explain to me exactly how deployment works in Team Battle? It's very confusing in the rules because it's all seemingly based on seating arrangement. So do you sit down with your partner across from you and your opponent's next to you, and then player with initiative chooses a deployment zone, and then the opponent to their left chooses a deployment zone, and then the initiative player's teammate chooses their deployment zone? So you could possibly be deploying across from or next to your teammate depending on which zone the opponent's choose? 

Edited by Tvboy

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It specifically says in the Hoth rule book that team mates sit across from each other (although we are going to break that rule for fun next time).  "During a Team Battle skirmish, the players on your immediate left and right are your opponents and the remaining player is your teammate."

I would say for informal Team Battles everyone could just bring a team and then randomly team up--  could get some really weird stuff here but whatever...  in that case there may very well be two Son of Skywalkers (and of course two Jedi Lukes on the same Team).  That's just the way it goes.  Maybe for Unique characters they could only be played once on each (one SoS on Luke A and one SoS on Luke B, not both on the same Luke!).

For a more formal setting where players (Teams) prepare before hand they 80pt combined team should follow certainly not have doubles of uniques...  BUT I'm not against there being more than 2 elites total (max 4) or non elites and 8 max of regulars...  Or you could say just 2 elites and 4 regs total in the 80pt Team to make the Team more diverse...  whatever.  Just not double Uniques...  Also for command cards the 80 pt Team should follow the rules as if it were one group so if there are doubles of a CC it is only allowed if that card has the two little dots down the bottom.  I guess this would make it impossible for two Assasinates and two Tools for the Job or whatever.

That being said-- the rule book says nothing about not doubling up on uniques in Team Battles, so do whatever you want.  I personally think, only one unique per Team and follow the CC card number limitations as if it were one big team of 80pts.

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6 hours ago, Tvboy said:

But wouldn't you be able to theoretically have both players play the same command card in the same timing instance?

Hmm. Possibly.

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We keep coming across weird command card stuff with the 4p game. 

1) Yesterday, someone played Balancing Force.  "Each player chooses up to 3 figures. Roll one red die.  Each of those figures recovers damage equal to the damage results."  Because of the wording each 2 player on the same team was able to choose the same figure so Luke was able to be chosen twice, another important figure was chosen twice and a third figure (I think a death trooper) was chosen twice, all on the same team!  The red roll was 2 so doubling that the team got back 10 health! (four on Luke and another and 2 on one that only had two so a potential for getting back 12 was there---  actually, if a three had been rolled a potential for getting back 18 would be there! )

I personally felt this made that CC a bit OP, with all four players choosing and some choosing the same figure.  What do you guys think?  What other CCs (apart from r2s card, which I know about) are OP with four players or weren't intended to be that powerful since they were designed for the two player game...

2) Another q about New Orders:  Not necessarily related to 4p but if say, Gideon uses New Orders on a Ranger would that then reactivate all 3 rangers?  That's a powerful card too!

3) We played the Nal Hutta 4p (2v2) mission.  When it says score for outposts at the end of the round and you also have a command card that is labeled "end of the round" (in this case Against All Odds) which should occur first?  If the scoring was first, one might not still be 8 points behind, but both say "end of round".  The same goes for start of the round with the Turrets firing and also various Start of the Round CCs...  some CCs may keep the figure who is targeted by the turrets alive if they happened first, so which would come first, mission effects/objectives or CCs?

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2. New Orders readies a deployment card, so all figures of that group are readied and must be activated when the group is activated.

3. Mission rules are resolved first, then abilities from the player with initiative, then the player without initiative (and modified by the 4-player rules). See RRG, Conflicts, and

CONFLICTS IN A FOUR-PLAYER SKIRMISH

During a four-player skirmish, mission rules are resolved first, followed by effects from the player with
initiative, and then effects from each other player, proceeding clockwise around the table.

Also, when playing a team battle skirmish, conflicts that arise during an attack resolve slightly differently than
in other missions. Mission rules are resolved first, followed by effects from the attacker and the attacker's
figures, then effects from the defender and his figures. After both the attacker's and defender's effects have
resolved, the attacker's teammate may resolve effects, followed by the defender's teammate.

 

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14 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

We keep coming across weird command card stuff with the 4p game. 

1) Yesterday, someone played Balancing Force.  "Each player chooses up to 3 figures. Roll one red die.  Each of those figures recovers damage equal to the damage results."  Because of the wording each 2 player on the same team was able to choose the same figure so Luke was able to be chosen twice, another important figure was chosen twice and a third figure (I think a death trooper) was chosen twice, all on the same team!  The red roll was 2 so doubling that the team got back 10 health! (four on Luke and another and 2 on one that only had two so a potential for getting back 12 was there---  actually, if a three had been rolled a potential for getting back 18 would be there! )

1) That is not how the card works. Each chosen figure only recovers damage equal to what was rolled. Nowhere does it say to multiply that amount for each time that figure was chosen. Choosing the same figure multiple times is redundant.

The turrets on Nal Hutta Borderlands is worded the same way, it doesn’t matter how many times you choose a figure, the effect is only applied to that figure once.

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Hoth and Swamp 4 player maps are horribly unbalanced - too many places you can safely camp out and be opportunistic while your opponent has little to no access to you. Hoth has that one extremely disadvantageous deploy area which usually makes the middle player dead much faster.

 

The temple 4 player map, however, is better balanced - the doors opening to each player's deployment zone forces you to be careful of your rear and reaching the middle there isn't much open ground due to the shielded middle area which opens more interesting play than hide & seek. 

 

Hoth is a bad 4 player map

Swamp is an okay 4 player map but the interior deployment area (with all the imperial terrain, not the 'storage' zone) is extremely advantageous unless attacked from 2 or more sides.

Temple is a great 4 player map but I think 2v2 is way better than 4 player FFA.

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Posted (edited)

One good thing to be said about Hoth is that it's probably the best 3-player map available right now if you don't use the blue deployment zone. 

Also it makes sense to me to make 1 deployment zone on these maps better than the other 3, because from experience, getting stuck with initiative on the first round in a 4-player game really sucks, especially when somebody else plays Take Initiative on round 2 to make you wait for for 4 other activations before you can activate at all. 

Edit: Although actually, now that I'm looking at the Nal Hutta Borderlands map again, I actually think the Green zone (interior cantina tiles) has the actual best hiding spots for popping in and out of cover. Specifically the corner by Green's terminal is really nice for covering the middle of the map and can cover Red's deployment zone with impunity from the blocking terrain by the staircase door. Also Green has great defensive positions to fall back to and shoot from if it's neighbors try to attack it from either doors.

Red also has some nice hiding spots, it can cover from it's own terminal Yellow's only access point to the center of the map with impunity, and the same to Green although Green can counter easier by opening the aforementioned staircase door. Unlike Green, Red is in much bigger trouble if an opponent opens either of the doors next to it to flank, it doesn't have the skinny black walls to attack from behind that Green does. 

Yellow can definitely has a lot of line of sight shelters right outside of its deployment zone, but the impassable terrain that dots a bunch of the corners makes it difficult to move out of cover, shoot and move back to cover. 

Blue is definitely the worst no doubt. It has only 2 defensible positions of cover, next to its terminal and near the door to the Yellow area, but both are easily flanked if Yellow opens that door. No skinny walls to attack from behind for Greedo or shooting Han. Also both of its doors are 8 spaces away instead of 6. I would avoid the blue zone at all costs. 

Edited by Tvboy

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1 hour ago, Tvboy said:

getting stuck with initiative on the first round in a 4-player game really sucks, especially when somebody else plays Take Initiative on round 2 to make you wait for for 4 other activations before you can activate at all.

Someone playing Take Initiative doesn't make it suck it any more or less, it does not affect how many activation you need to wait.

  • If a player would claim the initiative token out of turn, such as by playing "Take Initiative," that player receives the first activation on that turn, but does not claim the initiative token. After the first activation resolves, play passes to the player with the initiative token and then proceeds normally.

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Just now, a1bert said:

Someone playing Take Initiative doesn't make it suck it any more or less, it does not affect how many activation you need to wait.

  • If a player would claim the initiative token out of turn, such as by playing "Take Initiative," that player receives the first activation on that turn, but does not claim the initiative token. After the first activation resolves, play passes to the player with the initiative token and then proceeds normally.

So if you're the last player in line, and player 2 plays TI, the turn order would like this.

Player 2

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

It says in the rules that "play proceeds normally", which to me means that the player that played Take Initiative gets to activate in their normal turn order since it doesn't say that the Take Initiative player skips their normal activation. 

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