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Ginkapo

The Fallacy of Strategic Advisor (SAd)

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16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

An activation for 4 points! Not since the unbridled flotillas have we seen such cheap activations. Sadly you cant add comms net for 2pts to Strategic Advisor and run six of them into a corner of the map. It is cute though and on the approach into a fight it lets you delay to force the enemy to come closer sooner than they would like letting you set up your positioning for the fight better. Throughout Armada’s history we have often spoken about last firsting as an important move for gaining an easy upper hand at the start of a fight or, if you are playing Tika Taka Armada, throughout the game.

Another pro is countering your opponents SAd. It seems trivial when you both show up with it but it does make a difference.

16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

The loss of an officer slot. This one has been spoken about a fair bit, no access to Intel Officers, Raymus, Lando, Tua, Brunson, Isard or any other high quality captain. These officers are able to turn a fight in their own right, however you have chosen to go without them in favour of an activation. So next time you lose a ship just remember that Lando or Tua ECM would have saved you but you wanted to pass an activation a couple of times. Truth be told this isnt always the biggest loss in the world and in most cases isnt that big a deal.

This right here is your own fallacy. Raymus on a large? Why? Lando? Maybe if you are still facing BTA. If you're taking Tua, just upgrade the ISD and take one of your "high quality captains" instead. You know better than this. Brunson is a legit concession. IO is meh. I'd rather see it on Demo or Admo because they want to go first and allows you to follow up with your large ship which combos well with SAd because after you get your IO attack off, you can delay to force the ship into range of you. 

Pryce and Bail are probably the biggest losses to a large ship if you take SAd. However, SAd can act similar to Pryce by getting you last activation every round, it's just not guaranteed. Bail can force your opponent to take second if they out bid you so they deny your objectives and Bail. 

I'm not even going to touch Isard because we all know your skilled enough to guess dials, and the same can be said for most of us.

16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

However, where this becomes more important is when Strategic Advisor is on your flagship. Of course, where else would your Admiral be other than on your large ship? Mon Mothma will not willingly travel on anything other than a cruise ship and who can blame her? So by taking Strategic Advisor you have chosen not to use one of the great defencive officers to keep your flagship alive making yourself a touch more vunerable. If Strategic Advisor didnt let you get more activations than your enemy was it worth it? Admirals are often clutch to a fleet and keeping your flagship alive is extremelly important to your fleet functioning. Anyone who has suffered the death of Vader will have felt the truly delibitating feeling when your dice go so so so cold.

Even if you don't out activate your opponent, and let's say you match them 1:1 with SAd, you prevent your opponent from getting an additional attack on your flagship if you had to move instead of pass. SAd is an excellent defensive upgrade because it denies any additional attacks while your opponent is setting up a trap. 

Imagine you are playing against 4 activation IO Defiance Ackbar and they have first player. You have 3 activation Kuat bombers, but you have SAd on the Kuat bumping you to 4 activations. Since Ackbar has first player and you match 1:1, you are guaranteed last activation every round, which is similar to having Pryce except it's cheaper and more effective. On the round the Kuat would have move into range of Defiance which will unload 7 dice on you and IO your brace, instead Defiance is forced to move, allowing you to react whether if be moving speed 3 and trying to get in the front arc or attacking with your bombers to soften up for next round. In this example, SAd is the best defensive upgrade you could take, and I've had situations similar to this happen to me. 

16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

To make this worse the large ship only constraint on Strategic Advisor is forming some specific meta styles forming, the Successor to 1+X fleets, SAd plus small ships in what is being described as LMSU or Large Multiple Small Units. Now I take great objection to this naming, an MSU is defined by the spreading of points across all the units which individually punch hard but the loss of any single unit is not great due to value being so spread. With a large ship in a high activation fleet the MSU definition just does not apply as a single unit incorporates a high amount of the threat and value of the fleet. Essentially what happens here is a big red target gets put above the SAd ship which says, “kill me and you win the game”. Is that really what you want? If we refer back to the previous paragraph we can remember that the SAd ship is by default less defensive than other larges, so in summary at this point we have created a high value target with a less than ideal robustness.

The 1+X is on FFG. People are going to take what wins and having control of the activation game is one way to go about that. The majority of this paragraph is you disputing what LSMU/MSU really is, so it adds nothing to the argument at hand.

But let's talk about LMSU. It's a new fleet archetype. It's evolved from the old 1+X due to the flotilla nerf and addition of SAd. People are actually running combat ship along side their large ships. Kuat/Demo/Raider/Raider/Goz/Goz is quite fun to fly. And I just had success with MC75/Lib/Admo/GR-75/GR-75 because SAd let me control activations. Of course both fleets have their weaknesses but isn't that good for a healthy game? No fleet has the answers to take on everything so you should design a fleet that focuses on one aspect. LSMU control activations and are glass cannons. It's simple concept and it's deadly. 

16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

An ISD II with SAd is equivalent in pts to two stripped down Glads (Glad I, OE, ER 63pts), and an MC80 with SAd is equivalent in pts to a stripped down MC30 (Torp, OE, ER, 70pts) and a TRC90.

So run these ships if that's what you want to do. Did you know you can take 10 Tie/B instead of an ISD? True facts. 

16 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

So next time you reach for that large because SAd is amazing, consider if thats really what you want to build?

Yes because I'm not going to be shamed for playing LMSU by your "argument". Which itself is a fallacy. 

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Honestly, I love Strategic Adviser, both from a player point of view, and from a design perspective.

The activation game allow swarm fleet to almost nullify big ships lists. Chosing one ship to lose while focusing on the enemy big ships once he activated. Since small ships are more agile, they also tend to be able to get a positional advantage.

While Bail & Pryce are cool, they allow a tactic to work for one critical turn, SAd allow you to delay when necessary.

And that's the thing. When necessary. The reality of it is, SAd will only come to be useful 1, 2 or 3 turns per game. Because you'll want to activate something quickly the rest of the time, and often, it will be your large, heavy hitting ship. And you don't want to delay that too often.

So it's a tool. A tool you can do without. I mean, there were people playing with 2 ISD alone before wave 7. There are more now. Because we got interesting new large ships. And because SAd opened up that possibility.

I don't find it weird when 2 lists with SAd are facing each other. It's a tradeoff. You took SAd to handle a situation where you were out activated. For that, you sacrificed points and an officer slot. Both of you did it ? Cool, it's a balanced game. One of you did it ? His gambled paid off, but he lost on the activation for the critical first two turn.

SAd makes the game more interesting, for me. By fixing in a creative fashion, with its costs and sacrifice. It's not a suprise if the meta is so varied at the moment. Wave 7 allowed that. SAd included.

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Just now, Ling27 said:

Say that to most of the larges. That can go the same speed as my Arquitens and Gladiator. :(

You are very true, good sir. As someone who plays both Imperial & Rebels, I should know better. Glad are "ok", as they are as agile are CR90 ... if you take an engine tech, but imperial smalls mostly have weird nav charts.

But it's not just about speed. It's about the number of ticks of yaw. VSD know how hard it is to position yourself when you naturally only have 1 tick of yaw.

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2 hours ago, Ling27 said:

Say that to most of the larges. That can go the same speed as my Arquitens and Gladiator. :(

Already stated below, but speed and agility aren't the same thing. Base size also plays into it - a Gladiator has a very similar nav chart to an ISD (without Engine Techs, of course, once Engine Techs enter the equation it's nowhere close) but the Gladiator's smaller base size allows it to fit in places an ISD just can't and to make better use of/avoid obstacles better as well.

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20 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

An ISD II with SAd is equivalent in pts to two stripped down Glads (Glad I, OE, ER 63pts), and an MC80 with SAd is equivalent in pts to a stripped down MC30 (Torp, OE, ER, 70pts) and a TRC90.

I think that SA cost should be significantly higher (It did cost appropriately in a flotilla-heavy meta, but the cost wasn't adjusted once two-flotilla limitation was introduced, as it bumped the cost of getting that extra activation by ~20 points). The way SA is right now, it dis-incentivizes using medium ships in a fleet without being significantly penalized in activations.

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4 hours ago, PT106 said:

I think that SA cost should be significantly higher (It did cost appropriately in a flotilla-heavy meta, but the cost wasn't adjusted once two-flotilla limitation was introduced, as it bumped the cost of getting that extra activation by ~20 points). The way SA is right now, it dis-incentivizes using medium ships in a fleet without being significantly penalized in activations.

Yeah this is the big point for me, I think it would be great to see the SA available on a medium ship. As @Coranhann said, it's one tool in your toolkit, so in my mind it belongs on a generalist ship that acts as your fleet's Swiss army knife. I think it would fit the role of a fleet support ship like a Vic or Assault Frigate, while freeing up the slot on your big hitter for something more specialist, as @Ginkapo suggests. Best of both worlds!

It's either that or just get rid of it, I say.

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For the record I totally disagree with your cost assessment for the SAd. But that's not the conversation.

On its effect on viability of medium ships, I think the real issue lies more on two things:

- large ships now have several things making them viable. They used to be a challenge because of how costly they were. You could often get the same result getting a medium and a small ship for roughly the same price. Activation (# of and timing of... fixed by SAd and bail & pryce) seems to have been the central issue.

- Medium ships are subpar, always were. I will say the mark 2 is awesome in that it offers loads of viablr options but it get outclassed on almost every mission either by a combination of small ships or a harder hitting large. For empire... well, do we need to talk about the vsd or the interdictor ?

Problem comes not from SAd. It comes from large being efficient and medium becoming redundant...

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23 minutes ago, Coranhann said:

Problem comes not from SAd. It comes from large being efficient and medium becoming redundant...

Aye, being able to carry an Adviser alone isn't going to see the medium ships get a lot more love... Would maybe be a start, though. I just think making SA large ship only was a 'final nail in the coffin' kind of thing.

We just had Nationals in the UK, and I faced a combination of ISDs & Gozantis in all five of my games (I think SA was present in most). Which on the one hand was really cool (go Empire), but on the other... Poor Warlord.

An as-of-now 5-activation list that involves a Vic/AF.II sailing into gun-range of a 5-activation list with a Cymoon would be a lot more interesting if it could be bumped up to 6 activations. 

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1 hour ago, Dreadnowt said:

Aye, being able to carry an Adviser alone isn't going to see the medium ships get a lot more love... Would maybe be a start, though. I just think making SA large ship only was a 'final nail in the coffin' kind of thing.

We just had Nationals in the UK, and I faced a combination of ISDs & Gozantis in all five of my games (I think SA was present in most). Which on the one hand was really cool (go Empire), but on the other... Poor Warlord.

An as-of-now 5-activation list that involves a Vic/AF.II sailing into gun-range of a 5-activation list with a Cymoon would be a lot more interesting if it could be bumped up to 6 activations. 

I will say Ackbar AF are still solid. Or at least taking ONE is. Can't comment on the Imperial options, but I'll say that the flotilla/Yav/GH/Rieekan nerf really seems to be just a GH nerd, the rest is play around able. I'm not seeing AF that much in non Ackbar lists anymore, sadly. 

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2 hours ago, Dreadnowt said:

Yeah this is the big point for me, I think it would be great to see the SA available on a medium ship.

I think that would be a mistake (Just imagine Quasar with SA). Keeping SA as Large ship only activation fix while fixing a price discrepancy is a better option. In my mind ISD with SA should be in the same cost range as VSD + GSD or Interdictor+Raider, so replacing ISD in a list with a medium+small should not make the list crumble points-wise.

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Just throwing what I saw last weekend.

It is not unknown I dislike SAd. Seriously nothing less appealing than watching a match and see a player make an arcane movement with the hand and say "your turn again". Ridiculous but whatever. The fact is that I obviously brought my own dead Jedi advisor in my double Cymoon (for five activations) fleet. I found myself outactivated or outactivating with a meaningless SAd I didn't need.

Of course the number of activation is like the bid you bring one number and you hope for that number to be enough. But I also realize that when I had the wrong number before at least that number was build on actual ships so if I outactivated for more than one I had extra hitting ship's and if I was outactivated I was not wasting points where a better officer could have been helped more.

Yes, there will be a match where SAd will do his work. I still hope it but also I still blame SAd.

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