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machfalcon

Time for a break...

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Well, after nearly three years of being enthralled with the campaign version of this game, I think I may be in need of a break.  Over time, the game has lost its level of "fun factor" for a couple of primary reasons:

Campaigns no longer competitive
Initially, when I was new to the game, it seemed like I had to work for a victory in each mission.  However, the way that I tend to play games that I enjoy, I can't help but do lots of research in order to min-max my abilities and play style.  Over the last 6 campaigns that I've completed, in missions where I did not intentionally decide to lose (I intentionally lost 2 missions in my most recent campaign to maintain Rebel morale), I'm a combined 54-4 win/loss ratio.  I do not state this to brag about it but to highlight the one-sidedness of the campaigns that I've played (3 times as Rebel, 3 times as Imperial).  In fact, across all campaigns, six of them have seen 0 or 1 win from one side of the table or the other.  In the finale of the most recent campaign that I completed, I tried to play in a way where the outcome of the mission would be extremely close.  This involved applying handicaps (allow Rebel respec, remove agenda cards, reduce threat level by 1, remove banes) but even after all of this, I had to "forget" about certain abilities, intentionally make some less optimal moves, and provide occasional suggestions to make it come down to the wire.  I think most of the Rebels had more fun this way but it wasn't particularly fun for me.

Lack of variety
Maybe this is a result of overplaying the game (I've completed 11 full length campaigns more or less) but things have gotten a bit stale.  There are only so many ways to structure missions and they often play out pretty similarly.  At a macro-level, the same is true of the campaigns overall.  Rebels tend to buy the same upgrades, it's generally  understood what the "better" heroes are (and no, we don't always play only the best heroes).

With all that said... the game was a lot of fun while I played and I really did I enjoy most of the campaigns that I've been involved in.  The game itself has some good mechanics and I love Star Wars so there's always that.  I will probably still join one group if they start up another campaign in a few months (just to hang out with the group), but I think it's time for a break.  Anyway, just wanting to share my recent conclusion.

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WOW! 

 

11 full length campaigns is definitely impressive.  That's almost 3 campaigns per large box- definitely an achievement.

 

Always sucks when a game gets to the point that it no longer feels fun, but I'd say that you've definitely gotten some miles out of this one.  

 

Hopefully we'll get some significant content soon enough to encourage you to come back.  Take care, friend.

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43 minutes ago, machfalcon said:

Well, after nearly three years of being enthralled with the campaign version of this game, I think I may be in need of a break.  Over time, the game has lost its level of "fun factor" for a couple of primary reasons:

...

 

With all that said... the game was a lot of fun while I played and I really did I enjoy most of the campaigns that I've been involved in.  The game itself has some good mechanics and I love Star Wars so there's always that.  I will probably still join one group if they start up another campaign in a few months (just to hang out with the group), but I think it's time for a break.  Anyway, just wanting to share my recent conclusion.

Sounds like it's time to try skirmish! :lol:

 

In all seriousness, though, even though this is a dice-based game it's also very much a game in which player skill/game knowledge has a big impact on success.  When we started our first campaign it was pretty even, with the imperial player winning most of the missions and with us rebels feeling like we really had to work for everything we got.  We had a big break in between our missions, however, and in that time I bought the game myself, played another full campaign with a friend of mine and played through a few more against myself (playing both sides).  By the time we got back to that original campaign I was fully studied up, while our imperial opponent hadn't touched it in a few months.  Since then it's been landslide rebel victory after rebel victory (even when I try to keep my advice to other players to a minimum on their turns), and it got to the point that we're probably not ever going to finish.


After that I played a few more campaigns with that same friend of mine, but again I was playing and reading and thinking about the game quite a bit while he basically only played when we brought it out together.  After having really one-sided Bespin and Jabba campaigns (where we even switched sides between them) I could tell he was getting a bit disillusioned and we haven't brought either of the newer campaigns to the table.  I still enjoy it enough to play by myself, but not nearly as often and it's definitely not the same as having an evenly-matched opponent.

 

On the bright side, though, 3 years and 11 campaigns worth of fun are nothing to sneeze at.  Sounds like you've definitely gotten your money's worth with this one!  And although my initial comment was a bit of a joke, in all honestly you might want to think about picking up the skirmish side for a fun change of pace.  We don't have a huge scene where I live, but since I first tried skirmish last summer I've started playing Vassal (while getting in the few local tournaments when I can) and I've been having a huge amount of fun with it.  Best of all, when playing online I am in absolutely no danger of needing to worry about out-classing the competition :P

 

Edited by ManateeX

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A break is good, and don't forget the app.

(I'm seeing the exact opposite effect of rebels becoming so good - and heroes getting better - that they miss nothing and make few mistakes in assessing the best cause of action, albeit in a "non-realtime" Play by Forum campaigns. It's easier to tolerate the rebels winning than the other way around though.)

 

Edited by a1bert

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14 hours ago, machfalcon said:

Well, after nearly three years of being enthralled with the campaign version of this game, I think I may be in need of a break.  Over time, the game has lost its level of "fun factor" for a couple of primary reasons:

Campaigns no longer competitive
Initially, when I was new to the game, it seemed like I had to work for a victory in each mission.  However, the way that I tend to play games that I enjoy, I can't help but do lots of research in order to min-max my abilities and play style.  Over the last 6 campaigns that I've completed, in missions where I did not intentionally decide to lose (I intentionally lost 2 missions in my most recent campaign to maintain Rebel morale), I'm a combined 54-4 win/loss ratio.  I do not state this to brag about it but to highlight the one-sidedness of the campaigns that I've played (3 times as Rebel, 3 times as Imperial).  In fact, across all campaigns, six of them have seen 0 or 1 win from one side of the table or the other.  In the finale of the most recent campaign that I completed, I tried to play in a way where the outcome of the mission would be extremely close.  This involved applying handicaps (allow Rebel respec, remove agenda cards, reduce threat level by 1, remove banes) but even after all of this, I had to "forget" about certain abilities, intentionally make some less optimal moves, and provide occasional suggestions to make it come down to the wire.  I think most of the Rebels had more fun this way but it wasn't particularly fun for me.

Lack of variety
Maybe this is a result of overplaying the game (I've completed 11 full length campaigns more or less) but things have gotten a bit stale.  There are only so many ways to structure missions and they often play out pretty similarly.  At a macro-level, the same is true of the campaigns overall.  Rebels tend to buy the same upgrades, it's generally  understood what the "better" heroes are (and no, we don't always play only the best heroes).

With all that said... the game was a lot of fun while I played and I really did I enjoy most of the campaigns that I've been involved in.  The game itself has some good mechanics and I love Star Wars so there's always that.  I will probably still join one group if they start up another campaign in a few months (just to hang out with the group), but I think it's time for a break.  Anyway, just wanting to share my recent conclusion.

I would say, that you are just much better then your fellow players and that's the reason of this one-sided games. It doesn't matter do you play imp or rebeles, because the sad nature of cooperative games is that mostly, there is one (sometimes two) player, who is better then the rest and he becomes a natural leader who decides everything and the rest of the playeres just follow his orders and basicly just move their figures and roll dice. You can try playing as a rebel without helping you friends with decision making. This way, they will make sub-optimal moves, which will make your job harder but will also learn the game better, so maybe in a few games you will be able to play all-in. Also, if you play the campaigns with different people, you will obviously crush them, because as a player who invested 100+ hours into a game, you are clearly much better then a newcomer (especially in IA, which is VERY complicated, sometimes unintuitive (espiecially with LoS), unforgiving and really punishes mistakes). :)

Edited by Szycha

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5 hours ago, Szycha said:

I would say, that you are just much better then your fellow players and that's the reason of this one-sided games. It doesn't matter do you play imp or rebeles, because the sad nature of cooperative games is that mostly, there is one (sometimes two) player, who is better then the rest and he becomes a natural leader who decides everything and the rest of the playeres just follow his orders and basicly just move their figures and roll dice. You can try playing as a rebel without helping you friends with decision making. This way, they will make sub-optimal moves, which will make your job harder but will also learn the game better, so maybe in a few games you will be able to play all-in. Also, if you play the campaigns with different people, you will obviously crush them, because as a player who invested 100+ hours into a game, you are clearly much better then a newcomer (especially in IA, which is VERY complicated, sometimes unintuitive (espiecially with LoS), unforgiving and really punishes mistakes). :)

I'm not going to say that this is the problem of the OP, but I can definitely say it is a problem of mine.

I volunteer some of my time with local high school kids. Sometimes we play IA (sometimes we play other things, don't judge me ;)). There are a few kids that have played several games, and at least know what they're doing. But I'm twice their age, and when I go all out, there is no challenge. It's really helped me to play sub-optimally as the Empire. And when I'm part of the rebel team I just sit back and let the rest of the team make decisions. If they ask my opinion I'll give it. Also, playing support characters and building them out for support roles also helps me to keep from taking over.

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This game was easy for the Imperial from day 1, huge balancing issues. There is nothing new about that. This is a game about being a GM, it's not a game about playing to win. If you want the ultimate competitive experience play skirmish, I can guarantee you there are some people on the Zions Finest slack who would destroy you there :D

To be honest I am surprised your Rebels even bothered to keep playing if you just kept pounding them into the dirt, where is the fun in that?

Edited by FrogTrigger

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We have a similar thing going on here. Played through all the campaigns (except the Lothal one) at least once. How close the missions are really depends on the Imperial player. We play the game very competitively and if I play as Imperial, then I tend to lose. Because I play against 4 Rebels who plot and plan and min-max all their moves. I come to the game night straight from work and I rarely study the missions before start. After a day of working, playing as the Imperial player against 4 min-maxing Rebels usually ends up going badly for me. But yeah, it's mostly my own fault for not preparing.

And on the flip side, if one my friends is an Imperial player, then it's a different thing because he's ruthless and meticulous, studies the mission carefully beforehand and plays to win. He'll try to eliminate a Rebel player from the game because it's an efficient way to reduce Rebel actions and make the mission impossible for them. As Rebels it's also pretty "straightforward" to play against him because we end up seeing Trandoshan Hunters, Royal Guards, Riot Troopers and Nexu mission after mission in his optional groups. Basically anything that can potentially take away Rebel actions. These games tend to go 60/40 to the Imperial player. Depends on the campaign. But we have still to win a campaign against him.

The app is also fun and we always play it in the hard mode because we like to plan and discuss our moves before committing to them. I recently bought Descent just for the app so that we have more co-op goodness to go through while waiting for more IA stuff.

 

 

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On 10/4/2018 at 1:31 PM, ManateeX said:

Sounds like it's time to try skirmish! :lol:

I've strongly considered this in the past and still not entirely ruled it out.  I'm a bit afraid of how much time I would sink into it - the thing I like about campaigns is that you plan a night to play, play for 6-8 hours and then not put a lot of mental energy into it between sessions (aside from reading the forums, obviously! ?).  The two play by forums I played were fun to play (and often much more competitive) but I found myself constantly thinking about the game and min-maxing every move throughout the day every day.  I have a feeling skirmish would be the same way except constantly thinking about skirmish lists.

22 hours ago, a1bert said:

A break is good, and don't forget the app.

Thanks, I'm hopeful that a break will bring back the fun of playing again when I do pick it back up.  Although my original post made it sound like I'm not playing at all anymore, I'm secretly playing an app campaign with a few friends (shh) but it doesn't really feel like it counts.  Overall, it's alright but doesn't have the same feel.  I like the competitive nature of playing against people vs surviving the onslaught of computer generated opponents.  I know everyone doesn't feel this way so I'm happy for people who get a lot of enjoyment out of the app.

2 hours ago, FrogTrigger said:

To be honest I am surprised your Rebels even bothered to keep playing if you just kept pounding them into the dirt, where is the fun in that?

Of the past six very lopsided campaigns, I've played both Imperial and Rebel (also note that two of the campaigns were PBF so I feel less bad about it, for those on the receiving end who may be reading this, sorry).  We've tried various house rules in the campaigns to try to help but I guess it hasn't been enough (bonus XP, as much as +2 threat level, reduced threat level, influence adjustments, etc.).  As a Rebel player, I have tried sitting back which has varying degrees of success depending on the group.  In some groups, the Rebels have a hard time making a decision if I just sit back without providing input and the missions take twice as long (also, I must admit, it is a bit challenging not to say anything).  I guess the bigger issue is that I want to be able to play 100% straight up.  I know that's probably asking too much of this game.

6 hours ago, thestag said:

It's really helped me to play sub-optimally as the Empire. And when I'm part of the rebel team I just sit back and let the rest of the team make decisions. If they ask my opinion I'll give it. Also, playing support characters and building them out for support roles also helps me to keep from taking over.

This is good advice.  I agree with most of what people have said here.  The problem is that this isn't as fun for me for some hard to explain reason.  In the end, the point of games is for everyone to have fun.  If I'm not having fun as the Imperial player by tying both hands behind my back or if neither side is having fun by a blowout, maybe we should play another game.

With all of that said, I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses and may try to make some additional balancing/handicapping tweaks if/when I return to play.

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24 minutes ago, machfalcon said:

I've strongly considered this in the past and still not entirely ruled it out.  I'm a bit afraid of how much time I would sink into it - the thing I like about campaigns is that you plan a night to play, play for 6-8 hours and then not put a lot of mental energy into it between sessions (aside from reading the forums, obviously! ?).  The two play by forums I played were fun to play (and often much more competitive) but I found myself constantly thinking about the game and min-maxing every move throughout the day every day.  I have a feeling skirmish would be the same way except constantly thinking about skirmish lists.

You're probably right about the above, but none of that sounds like a bad thing to me, haha.

You can get skirmish games in more easily than campaign, as you have fewer people's schedules to plan around. Also, it's not that hard to get a game on Vassal playing against other competitive people. Playing more games allows you to let go of those situations faster.

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I guess the take away is, anyone on this forum can crush their rebels if they try as hard as they can, play optimal builds/cards etc.. but most of us just don't see the fun in that. I play the game as GM, and to each their own. I just don't see the fun in making it so ultra competitive when it should be more about the story and the experience. 

Skirmish on the other hand, oh ya, that should be competitive, but we also still even have an incredible skirmish community for this game that is very supportive of each others success.

As Fightwookies mentioned, Vassal is a great platform to play skirmish on because you can find a game at almost any time and get a chance to test your mettle against the best in the world ;) And I can assure you that your boredom of constantly always winning will fade quickly after you get demolished by DT a few times ;) If you want a challenge, it really is the best option.

Edited by FrogTrigger

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