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Okapi

The Jakku Gunrunner appreciation thread

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There's been a lot of negativity around these guys lately, but does anyone one else enjoy seeing them on the table, even on the opposite side? Honestly, I love them. 1.0 was very often dominated by two ship lists consisting of unkillable PS9+ aces, creating a meta where it was very difficult for generics to compete, and as a consequence PS3-7 aces were mostly pointless unless they had an enormously powerful pilot ability. I would hate to see that happen to 2.0 as well, and the Gunrunners really do a lot to keep those I5-6 aces in check.

You know they can do all the 2s and the middle 3s, so as an ace player you should be able to get out of the way before they get the opportunity. They're not THAT hard to avoid. They're also in a faction that is generally weak at ranges 2-3, so as a Rebel or Imperial player, you can exploit that. What's more, they provide a juicy targets for all the mid-I generics and aces that'd otherwise just waste the points they paid for their initiative value. They're of middling agility, rarely have a token, and no shields, so are very susceptible to crits from torpedoes and Marksmanship. Even I2 TIE Advanced x1s pose a real threat to them; you could argue the Tempest is of greater value than Vader in this matchup.

I think having a low initiative hard counter to the top tier aces is really healthy for the meta. They could possible stand to take a very slight points increase, so as not to squeeze out the Z-95 and the Scyk completely, but I really like having them around, and it'd be huge loss to see them nerfed out of competitive play.

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I just hope the devs aren't as reactionary as the community, and they take a common sense approach by trying to rebalance things slowly unless they are either totally unbeatable or totally nonviable, especially since we can expect relatively frequent influxes of new options. The only thing I see out there that needs an adjustment of more than 1-2 points is scum Han gunner, and even with him I'd rather err on the conservative side than make him totally unplayable until the next balance point.

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I’ve not personalliy played with/against them enough to speak to their point cost.

That said, I am glad that they are getting play. They fit a niche not covered by another ship - Having such things functions to make the factions feel different.  I like aces and feel that aces should be important to the game since they are so important in the movies.  However, runing aces does not mean the player is flying like an ace. Tugs are an answer to aces, but an arc-dependent R1 action means your opponent has to anticipate your move and leave the tug a bit more vulnerable. 

If someone wants to say passing around a single cloaking device card that won’t fail because it no longer is “on” the ship is dumb and should be change, I will certainly agree with that. 

Edited by Pewpewpew BOOM

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1 hour ago, HolySorcerer said:

Super undercosted. Hard counters are terrible game design. Hoping these things skyrocket in price this January. 

Are they really more of a hard counter to an ace than said ace is to a lower I pilot, though? Roll out of arc, focus, shoot, don't get shot back. If the presence of the Gunrunner leads to players bringing a couple of I2-3 generics or mid I aces to deal with it, isn't that a good thing, bringing more variety to the game?

Edited by Okapi

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4 minutes ago, Cloaker said:

Few ships personify a faction in the way the Quadjumper and more specifically, the Gunrunner does. It needs a 3 point price increase and then to be left alone forever. Fun design, can easily be beaten by a good player who knows what they're doing.

If upped, no more than 2pts  makes sense.

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The biggest issue is that Tractor Effects are just miserable to play against, especially for small-based ships.  The basic idea of moving your opponent's ships just screams Negative Play Experience (NPE) to me, and they weren't any less of an NPE in 1.0.  The saving grace of 1.0, though, was that large-bases were pretty immune to tractor's and were more prevalent, while other stuff was so efficiently costed that just killing stuff was better than moving it (until Worlds 2018 where Ion+Tractor-Brobots just walked everything off the board in the Top 16).  But with large bases nearly extinct and damage slower and harder to deal out now in 2.0, Tractor-Controling stuff is popular (the Gunrunner isn't the only problem, Tractor-Control BroBots were also in that Top 20).

Having your small-based aces thrown unavoidably onto obstacles is no less stupid or less fun than it was in 1.0, it's just way more common now.

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TBF, they pop extremely easy when most players fly them, especially to double juke or to Redline (either tragedy sim or advanced sensors). They suddenly become extremely unfun and arguably unfair when a top-tier player flies them, in which they are a 28pt Biggs, but more of them. Oh, and unlike Biggs, they bite hard. Typically I would resist the calls to raise them in cost given my general experience against them, but those games against the very good players in which the act of counterplay is a continuous shooting in the foot....I guess I will cave in. I'm hoping for the cost to go up to 41 pt (cost of a baseline X-wing, which trades the great dial and the amazing ship ability for a slightly higher survivability and some firepower: they seem to be worth the same as ships), but in the meantime also waiting for Supernatural Kylo to never be able to be tractored, I'm dabbling with gitting gud or teching against them. Collision detector and large bases are yielding some results, but make you typically weaker to other stuff if you go too far out of your way to wm1 tugs. We need to establish large bases as enough of a meta staple to stunt the tugs' natural effectiveness. Hence, my thread asking if Dash has potential.

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32 minutes ago, Cloaker said:

Few ships personify a faction in the way the Quadjumper and more specifically, the Gunrunner does. It needs a 3 point price increase and then to be left alone forever. Fun design, can easily be beaten by a good player who knows what they're doing.

3 points that’s not even enough.

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Tractoring is kind of like 1.0 K-Wing action bombing. If you are in/near in arc, you cannot avoid being tractored if they move first. There is not a ton of stress control, and they have pretty good blues, and you can't block them if they move before you.

You can avoid it, but I imagine you have to play super cagey. I mean, even rolling out of arc is not a guarantee you do not get tractored next round. 

For me, it is the unblockable part that makes it strong. No dice or tokens are used, you just get tractored. And 5 HP with 2 greens goes a lot farther in 2.0 than 1.0.

Anyways, I think they are good, but maybe a little undercosted. Not horribly broken, for sure, but just a tad under.

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Just now, Okapi said:

2-4 seems fine; with a similar hike for the Falcon nose. With a 1-2 point decrease to Headhunters and Scyks we'll probably see a bit more variety among the cheapo villains.

5-6 minimum .. that a “generic” Initiative 1 ship has such a powerful ability is very NPE. It will become game breaking.

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Tractor Array is the worst mechanic they did since original TIE Phantoms, and it's also the mechanical successor. And we nerfed Phantoms ability in first, and the chassis in second. That will seem odd to read to some, so please allow to explain. 

For those who don't know as you are new to the game (WELCOME!) And as a general refresher. Cloaking used to give you the option to decloak immediately before you revealed your dial, and then continue from there. And still get a barrel roll after your maneuver. This gave the phantom a huge advantage as it could take good choices the opponent made to predict the decloak direction and make them wrong when it activated, usually last as it was a PS9 Whisper. You could guess their desired decloak correctly, which in this game is the point of the double blind maneuver dial system, set up a good net to catch the thing, then the phantom player could look at the board and change the starting position of the ship such that the end position allowed the phantom to ignore a large part of your good plan, evade blocks, and then the combat would happen and it could generally drop a ship off the board by itself and there was nothing you could do about it leaving the game even more in it's favor. Because when you can change the positions of the board after the dial is down, before they are revealed, or even worse change the board after everything else is shown, the player who has the power to alter the board before a dial is flipped is the only one with the perfect information that the game gives players as the equalizer. This is the death of the double blind system, it's now a single blind. The first major mechanical change happened to the game and it was too rewrite the decloak to happen at the start of the activation phase, which in this edition became the device phase. So now there was a locked statistic for where a decloak left you, and if you were able to guess it during the double blind, you were in great shape, but if you hadn't you could fall back on re-positional moves to adjust as you went through the activation sequence to maybe adjust. And now in second with everything having a reposition this is allowing much more interplay between players when cloaks are involved. With the other changes to phantoms to reign them in I think I can now, honestly say that I like the puzzles that phantoms bring to the table. While I still have a small anxiety attack seeing one setup across from me, there are enough tools in the game for a fun interactive play experience.

But out of all this the point/lesson is simple: Giving a board change to a ship after the dial is set without a locked position mechanic saying where that goes, but before it reveals that dial is a break of the perfect information system required for a healthy double blind gameplay design. And the deeper in to the activation sequence this goes the harder it is to deal with through interplay. You couldn't predict the original decloak because they could change it after seeing all the hidden information of dials and actions revealed. By the same token you can't predict a tractor action and so you go against them in the planning phase robbed of perfect information, the player is blind, in their own ship. For Force sake this is why Advanced sensors is so good, it does the same thing right? And that's why they tacked a restraining device on it with the one action limit it now has.

All this beside the real point. Tractors have no business being in the game as there's no canonical evidence that they could be effectively employed in fighter or ship combat outside of very unique circumstances let alone exhibit such an impact as to force an object around at high speed. Wherever you see tractors in Canon they are a slow ponderous process. This game treats them like a video game hammer with a knock back effect ora solid fus-roh-dah. 

Also tractors and bombs both break a core tennent of the new edition which is the two attack limit. Both mechanics allow a third damage effect from a single game piece. 

TLDR: Redesign tractors.

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I thoroughly enjoy them at their current cost, but I don’t run them naked. The gunrunner with electronic baffles and deadman’s switch is tons of fun, and definitely not Biggs because you can baffle your health down intentionally to make yourself an unnattractive target. 

Also, I don’t understand anyone who claims that they’re surprisingly survivable. Look at the crit deck and tell me which of these are fine to get hit with... badly flown quad jumpers should be burned out of the sky by a capable opponent. 

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27 minutes ago, PaulRuddSays said:

I thoroughly enjoy them at their current cost, but I don’t run them naked. The gunrunner with electronic baffles and deadman’s switch is tons of fun, and definitely not Biggs because you can baffle your health down intentionally to make yourself an unnattractive target. 

Also, I don’t understand anyone who claims that they’re surprisingly survivable. Look at the crit deck and tell me which of these are fine to get hit with... badly flown quad jumpers should be burned out of the sky by a capable opponent. 

Of course you enjoy them for a price which for a mere 28 points allows them to move, flip, and throw auto damage, in arc shots and NPE game mechanics to occur with a initiative 1 generic pilot to be able to have that much impact.

@HolySorcerer I agree somewhere between 6-10 is probably the sweet spot.

Edited by Cgriffith

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I haven’t had to play against them yet, but I appreciate the unique gameplay they bring.  I think they’re pretty appropriately costed of it you weren’t accounting for the baked in ship ability. It seems to me the real danger isn’t in a single gunrunner because you’re generally trading your focus for a tractor token.  When you can run a swarm of them, with Drea, they start to be really deadly.  I would expect to see them come up 3 to 4 points.

Edited by Phelan Boots

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1 hour ago, Phelan Boots said:

  I think they’re pretty appropriately costed ... because you’re generally trading your focus for a tractor token. 


This is inaccurate.  You are trading the Tug's focus token for the enemy's Focus token (or whatever other action(s) they've would have taken), while also likely having a 50% chance of dealing one damage or stressing the target, too.  The Tug wants to use the tractor in a way that throws its targets onto obstacles and/or causes them to bump ships when they move.

Tug's Focus Token = Opponent's Actions + (50% chance of 1 Damage OR Stress)

That is such an incredibly good trade, especially since the tug is less than 15% of your list and has 5HP/2AG so can usually survive a few attacks without a Focus for defense.

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