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Crit Happens

The race to the bottom, and how it should be addressed

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I think the best answer is to have a rotating initiative/first player.

They gave us a token for this in the core box - make it a step “at the end of the end phase, pass the first player token to the other player”. That way both players get to experience the benefit and the frustration of both ends of the initiative coin. You won’t build your list entirely around “you must go last or die” hopefully, but it’ll still allow you to do some cool arc dodgy-ness on the turns you get that benefit. Plan your turns out knowing when you will and will not have initiative 

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23 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

This is usually a really, really bad idea.  If you buy the TIE fighter, you cost yourself MoV over the course of the day, by giving your opponent 23 points of a ship they can trivially kill.

 

I really support some method of penalising bidding.  As it stands one of the best upgrades you can buy on an I5 or I6 double repositioning ace is... 10+ points of nothing.

That's super dumb.

Personally my preferred course would simply be to make initiative a coin toss, as in Keyforge.  Whoever wins the toss moves and shoots first.  Instantly removing all incentive to bid and giving those point fortress lists a 50 50 chance of not being able to arc dodge.

I agree with this 100%.

I mostly play with high initiative + solid bid, and I don't really like the bid part of it. I think that forcing players to have a reliable plan in place for when they aren't moving last requires much deeper and more interesting strategic thinking than "how many points can I safely bid without seriously compromising my list's effectiveness"

I believe that eliminating the bid would actually do more to balance high initiative aces than a points increase would.

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22 minutes ago, ScummyRebel said:

I think the best answer is to have a rotating initiative/first player.

 

I personally lean to removing the simultaneous fire rule. You want to give me FP? I just might PS-kill your I5 with my I5 - now you have to actually think about it. It would need to be tested, but I think it would help alot.

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14 hours ago, Crit Happens said:

Let me tell you about who I am as a player. I'm the player that will use this to my advantage to win tournaments. I will bring the biggest bid, and I will run to time after killing enough.

I did exactly this at worlds last year, with Kylo and a 9 point bid. The biggest point fortress at the time was fat Miranda. So I brought a Kylo that was worth more in the end game. All 6 of my wins went to time, and most of them involved me running for more than 30 minutes. This was my only strategy. None of my opponents had fun after they realized what was happening. I was incentivized to do this. I was incentivized to not play the game. 

If you really think players have any counter play to Kylo running away, you're mistaken. This isn't about players being bad and needing to be given points. It's about disincentivizing a negative play experience. Just like they've done with fortressing!

So did you have fun doing that all day??

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53 minutes ago, mcintma said:

I personally lean to removing the simultaneous fire rule. You want to give me FP? I just might PS-kill your I5 with my I5 - now you have to actually think about it. It would need to be tested, but I think it would help alot.

This is the first time I've seen this and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around how it would affect the game. 

7 minutes ago, BCooper85 said:

So did you have fun doing that all day??

Does that matter? You can't use social rules to govern competition. You'd think NFL players would be all about not giving each other concussions but.....

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18 minutes ago, Micanthropyre said:

Does that matter? You can't use social rules to govern competition. You'd think NFL players would be all about not giving each other concussions but.....

I thought the point of this game was to have fun, my apologies.

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1 hour ago, mcintma said:

I personally lean to removing the simultaneous fire rule. You want to give me FP? I just might PS-kill your I5 with my I5 - now you have to actually think about it. It would need to be tested, but I think it would help alot.

No

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33 minutes ago, BCooper85 said:

So did you have fun doing that all day??

That doesn't really matter, but I actually did. Every game was close (except when Paul Johnson trounced me!), and there was a heavy burden of execution on me to get a lead. If I made one mistake in the early game, I lost, so there were interesting and meaningful decisions for me to make, until I got ahead on points. Then it became auto pilot. 

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5 minutes ago, BCooper85 said:

I thought the point of this game was to have fun, my apologies.

I get it. Before I switched leagues, I was in a pool league that was supposed to be "honest effort" meaning you had to try to make a ball on your turn. You know, gentlemen's rules. What that actually enabled was close to half the teams would "miss" their shot, leaving the cue ball in a really bad spot for their opponent. For reference, in competitive pool there is a rule called a "safety" which is taking a shot that is leaving it in a bad spot for your opponent, except it is governed by specific rules that make it difficult to pull off most of the time.

It isn't fun to play a game when your opponent isn't playing by the same rules, and if it's a social rule then there will always be people who ignore it for their benefit. If you think that being snarky at people who play the game legally is the solution to the problem, and shaming them into playing in the way you prefer is the answer..... well we aren't going to agree on that.

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So the question here is essentially, "Do we need to punish the bid?"

Without thoroughly reading every response in this thread, here's my 2 cents on why I don't believe punishing the bid is necessary:

Defensive tanking has been massively reduced in 2.0, so the ability to fly the "unkillable ace" has been all but removed from 2.0. 

Granted, the Silencer platform might be better than most at being able to simply "run away" from damage, but I'm not expecting the Kylo meta to specifically thrive from this kind of play. 

I think Silencer tanks will need to truly master the entire dogfight and participate in the mid-game to win consistently in 2.0. 

Just my gut on this one. 

 

Secondly, 

If the bid element is removed from squad-building strategy, then turn zero may become more about CHANCE then CHOICE. 

Granted, the chance of a die roll still requires the choice of one of the players to be "correct", but if all we get is a dice roll every game for this, or some other randomized initiative order, then I'm not sure if I'd start to feel a bit shafted in my squad-building choices after a while. 

Again, just my opinion. 

Edited by Bucknife

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22 minutes ago, Crit Happens said:

That doesn't really matter, but I actually did. Every game was close (except when Paul Johnson trounced me!), and there was a heavy burden of execution on me to get a lead. If I made one mistake in the early game, I lost, so there were interesting and meaningful decisions for me to make, until I got ahead on points. Then it became auto pilot. 

 

22 minutes ago, Micanthropyre said:

I get it. Before I switched leagues, I was in a pool league that was supposed to be "honest effort" meaning you had to try to make a ball on your turn. You know, gentlemen's rules. What that actually enabled was close to half the teams would "miss" their shot, leaving the cue ball in a really bad spot for their opponent. For reference, in competitive pool there is a rule called a "safety" which is taking a shot that is leaving it in a bad spot for your opponent, except it is governed by specific rules that make it difficult to pull off most of the time.

It isn't fun to play a game when your opponent isn't playing by the same rules, and if it's a social rule then there will always be people who ignore it for their benefit. If you think that being snarky at people who play the game legally is the solution to the problem, and shaming them into playing in the way you prefer is the answer..... well we aren't going to agree on that.

Shaming is a bit strong! Personally that wouldn't even occur to me to try as a tactic, I want to win as much as the next guy but I also want to play the game...as in dogfight.

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14 minutes ago, Bucknife said:

So the question here is essentially, "Do we need to punish the bid?"

Without thoroughly reading every response in this thread, here's my 2 cents on why I don't believe punishing the bid is necessary:

Defensive tanking has been massively reduced in 2.0, so the ability to fly the "unkillable ace" has been all but removed from 2.0. 

Granted, the Silencer platform might be better than most at being able to simply "run away" from damage, but I'm not expecting the Kylo meta to specifically thrive from this kind of play. 

I think Silencer tanks will need to truly master the entire dogfight and participate in the mid-game to win consistently in 2.0. 

Just my gut on this one. 

 

Secondly, 

If the bid element is removed from squad-building strategy, then turn zero may become more about CHANCE then CHOICE. 

Granted, the chance of a die roll still requires the choice of one of the players to be "correct", but if all we get is a dice roll every game for this, or some other randomized initiative order, then I'm not sure if I'd start to feel a bit shafted in my squad-building choices after a while. 

Again, just my opinion. 

We've been talking about this locally as well and the general consensus is that there's far fewer tanks in the game than there were previously due to the loss of autothrusters and evade/focus stacking so it onus is on the crazy bid player to play perfectly, otherwise a lucky roll just cost you 60 points on a ship that can at best dish out 4 hits a turn. 

There is a separate question about the number of i5 ships coming out - Mynock Squadron Podcast talked about this briefly and I can see the challenges they're referencing (too many ships at the same init value creates the "race to the bottom"). Sitting down to a game and realizing you lost at the listbuilding stage courtesy of an insane bid is not terribly fun either. 

The question then is whether those crazy high bid lists can handle the rest of the meta as well - if they win the mirror but lose to a more balanced list, then the game sorts itself out and disincentivizes running the same power list, as you auto-lose to a higher bid.

However, if the super bids can also handle everything else in the meta, that's when we have a problem. That was what we saw with pre-nerf whisper - Fat Han could not only eat whisper, it could also tank swarms and handle large swathes of the meta as well.

It's one of the reasons I'm not nearly as worried about Double-Tap Dash - sure he can murders 2-3 ship lists, but 4+ eats him alive almost by default and a round of bad variance can also ruin his ideal matchups. 

My hope is that FFG releases some more tools to handle either crazy high bids or gives bonus for shooting/moving first. A init 5 with access to space-tug tractor could tear it up right now - not saying that's the solution, but better tools for going first and better ships released at lower init values can help alleviate some of that pressure.

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I guess you could change how bidding works.

An early X-Wing 1e rulebook had a different means of determining first player: each player would roll 3 red dice, and the one with the most hits/crits could choose first player.  Suppose having a larger bid no longer guaranteed the choice of first player, but every few points of bid would add dice to your initial roll.

200 vs 200 would be 3 dice each, equal to a coin flip.  200-198 might be 3 dice vs 4 dice, which is certainly an advantage to the 3-dice player, but it often won't mater.

Perhaps the bid cost of each additional die should increase based on already had.  This isn't at all thought-through, but 2 points for 4 total roll-off dice, 6 points for 5 dice, 14 points for 6 dice, and to get to 7 dice it'd be 30 points.

From the old Final Salvo calculations ( https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wKnAEna5I2fblgmrzI8Jsll2VEsFRKTKaD3yXzCWguo/edit#gid=490401519 ), having a +1 Die roll-off grants you something like a 2/3rds chance of winning the roll-off.  Having +2 dice about a 3/4ths to 4/5ths chance (depending on the exact dice totals).  So a 14 point bid gives up 8 points of list, for only a 65/35 chance instead of a 50/50.  7 vs 5 dice is 76/24, at the cost of an additional 24 points of bid.  Personally, I'm only ever going to bid 2 or 6 in such a scheme, since so little is gained over that, at such a deep cost.

Maybe it wouldn't work, maybe the WAAC would still come through, and you'd have a lot of folks at 14 and 30 point bids.

Even if it did eliminate deep bids, maybe it'd still be a bad idea.  With how potent deferring First Player can be in some match ups, do we want games essentially decided on the opening roll-off?  Anyhow, just random thoughts.  Maybe it sparks someone else's ideas.

//

There's an adjacent issue to deep bids: a lot of ships are too cheap.  The fact that Soontir/Whisper/Redline can run 15-20 points of bid is only possible because nearly every ship and upgrade in the list is a point or two cheaper than it ought to be.

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I love 2.0, but I think they missed a great opportunity to make initiative more fluid. 

Here is a version of how it could be done: after dials are down, both players roll 2 red dice +1 for having a lower squad points and an additional +1 per 10 point  difference between the opponents’ lists. Kaboom = 2, Boom = 1; player with the higher score may take or pass initiative.  

So I have 198pts. & you have 190pts.: I roll 2 reds & you roll 3. If you had 188pts., you roll 4 reds, and so on. 

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27 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

 

There's an adjacent issue to deep bids: a lot of ships are too cheap.  The fact that Soontir/Whisper/Redline can run 15-20 points of bid is only possible because nearly every ship and upgrade in the list is a point or two cheaper than it ought to be.

This is a very good point, is it not?

Losing 10+ pts off your list should see a noticible drop off in effectiveness, but in a lot of cases, it just doesn't. If things are very finely balanced in a competitive scenario, not using 5-10% of your allotted resources would be a very hard choice.

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5 minutes ago, Cuz05 said:

This is a very good point, is it not?

Losing 10+ pts off your list should see a noticible drop off in effectiveness, but in a lot of cases, it just doesn't. If things are very finely balanced in a competitive scenario, not using 5-10% of your allotted resources would be a very hard choice.

And now I'm laughing at my own joke:

If bids are this deep, then ships are too cheap.

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I'm not going to believe this is a real problem until someone proves it by taking Kylo to a tournament and winning it alone.

Kylo's real last name is SOLOHe wants to fly alone. He doesn't have any friends. He wants to ruin everyone's night so no one has fun. 

TIE/vn Silencer - •Kylo Ren - 126
    •Kylo Ren - Tormented Apprentic (82)
        Proton Torpedoes (9)
        Proton Rockets (7)
        Afterburners (8)
        Supernatural Reflexes (12)
        Primed Thrusters (8)

Total: 126/200

landscape-1453021895-kylo-ren-undercover

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12 hours ago, Marinealver said:

Well if they get cleared off of the table all unused squadron points count against them.

What you only played 175 points? Well now that you have just lost your last ship that is a 200 point loss for you, next time spend those 25 points on a extra TIE Fighter


This completely misunderstands how competitive X-Wing works.  The whole idea in not taking that TIE Fighter is that the TIE would only feed the opponent 24 free points without contributing enough to the effort while also encroaching on your all-important bid to control moving last with your aces.  Besides, by leaving that 25 points off the table you ADD 25 points to the value of whatever ace is the last surviving ship on the board, 'lockboxing' those points from the opponent unless they can kill your last ace (which the ace list is good at denying).  And now, even if you're Whisper is half-dead and running away, Whisper's value at the end of the game is 1/2 * (Whisper's Cost) + 25, meaning Whisper will beat more stuff in the end game when time is called, while also preserving your MoV.

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1 hour ago, RafaelNN said:

Why not place a rule that limits the minimum points you have to spend? Like you cant spend less than 190 points in your list.

 

Alternatively, switch active first player as was suggested before.

This isn't a bad idea. In WarmaHordes, when you are playing a point limit like a typical 75 point game you cannot bring less than 70 points.

Setting a bid limit, like say 10 points, may work, although we'll just see a lot of 190 vs 190 games determined by die roll, which would be helped by alternating First Player as mentioned before.

 

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1 hour ago, Pewpewpew BOOM said:

I love 2.0, but I think they missed a great opportunity to make initiative more fluid. 

Here is a version of how it could be done: after dials are down, both players roll 2 red dice +1 for having a lower squad points and an additional +1 per 10 point  difference between the opponents’ lists. Kaboom = 2, Boom = 1; player with the higher score may take or pass initiative.  

So I have 198pts. & you have 190pts.: I roll 2 reds & you roll 3. If you had 188pts., you roll 4 reds, and so on. 

Legitimate idea, I would just feel like that's too much lag time in-game.

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35 minutes ago, dadocollin said:

I'm not going to believe this is a real problem until someone proves it by taking Kylo to a tournament and winning it alone.

Kylo's real last name is SOLOHe wants to fly alone. He doesn't have any friends. He wants to ruin everyone's night so no one has fun. 

TIE/vn Silencer - •Kylo Ren - 126
    •Kylo Ren - Tormented Apprentic (82)
        Proton Torpedoes (9)
        Proton Rockets (7)
        Afterburners (8)
        Supernatural Reflexes (12)
        Primed Thrusters (8)

Total: 126/200

landscape-1453021895-kylo-ren-undercover

If only there wasn't this annoying new tournament regulation of "Between 2 and 8 ships" in a list. 

...just throw in a generic FO and fly him off the board turn 1. 

That'll show 'em. 

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2 minutes ago, Bucknife said:

If only there wasn't this annoying new tournament regulation of "Between 2 and 8 ships" in a list. 

...just throw in a generic FO and fly him off the board turn 1. 

That'll show 'em. 

Now that sounds like a rule Kylo... er Matt can get behind changing!

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