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What if FFG changed First Player to random?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thespaceinvader said:

I like this solution with the caveat that the points are only counted as destroyed if the game goes to time. You shouldn't lose them if you table your opponent.

Same thinking for me.

I once lost a game for 3 points towards an opponent with 12 points bid.... It was 12 untochable points for me, once he had the point avantage, he run for more than 10 min... one of the worth game experience for me 😢

 

If a player want to bid a lot to be sure to get the choice of initiative, fine by me.  But those point should count in the final count. Peharp with should count points still on board, not point destroyed (or point destroyed + bid)

Edited by Grendelator

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, svelok said:

Losing because you move first feels bad. It would feel worse if you had no control over it.

This is the crux of the issue for me.  If people are using massive bids its because they feel like the decision of First Player is very important for the match, then I would rather a player sacrifice something to try and guarantee being the "First Player" than a coin flip determining who is going to win the match.

Edited by joeshmoe554

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, svelok said:

Losing because you move first feels bad.

Losing because you move first is bad game design.

Encouraging the idea of not using upgrades, in an attempt to guarantee not moving first (and, not coincidentally, in an attempt to guarantee the other player moves first, and thus (presumably?) auto-loses) is even worse.

And, again, the funniest thing to me is that this race to the bottom, to see who has to "lose because he moves first," is somehow seen as the very height of skill at X-Wing.

C'mon.  It's the exact opposite.

If players know that, no matter what they do, they face a 50/50 chance of moving first -- against the same Initiative, which people keep leaving out -- then players will adapt and learn how to play the game, as opposed to relying on perfect information.

That is good for the game, not bad for the game.

Quote

It would feel worse if you had no control over it.

Of course you have control over it.  You can learn how to play the game in a way that doesn't absolutely require you to always have perfect information.  I know it's a lot to ask of some folks.

Edited by Jeff Wilder

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51 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Of course you have control over it.  You can learn how to play the game in a way that doesn't absolutely require you to always have perfect information.  I know it's a lot to ask of some folks.

If you could do that in a "random first player" game, you could also do that right now. So why aren't you doing exactly that? And if you are and you are, in fact, winning... what's the problem again?
 

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6 minutes ago, Naerytar said:

If you could do that in a "random first player" game, you could also do that right now.

(Ah, critical thinking.  The lost art.)

If 10% of players play Init 5 and Init 6, you can, in fact, compete in a tournament with those players.

If 90% of players play Init 5 and Init 6, it is much more difficult.

The difference is that 90% of players won't do it if they're going to end up as First Player in 45%+ of their games.

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I'm fine with the random first player option IF we see some price increases as well.  Take a hard look at any list that is competitive at 185 points and give it a 15 price hike spread out over the pilots and upgrades as seems appropriate.

Bidding to move last is super-dumb but at least it forces those Ace players to tie 7-10% of their points behind their back. 

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19 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

(Ah, critical thinking.  The lost art.)

If 10% of players play Init 5 and Init 6, you can, in fact, compete in a tournament with those players.

If 90% of players play Init 5 and Init 6, it is much more difficult.

The difference is that 90% of players won't do it if they're going to end up as First Player in 45%+ of their games.

If your list can reliably beat Init 5/6 while moving first, then it doesn't matter, if it's 10% of the field or 90% of the field.
In fact, 90% of the field would be better for you, since you have a favorable matchup in almost all your games. So my point would stand: Why aren't you playing that list right now?

If you can't beat such lists reliably, then "random first player" would maybe make your list viable by reducing it's bad matchups. But that's not what you claimed in your previous post. You said, that it's possible to play around having to move first, if you just play right and build your list right.

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14 minutes ago, Naerytar said:

If your list can reliably beat Init 5/6 while moving first, then it doesn't matter, if it's 10% of the field or 90% of the field.

That's not what I said.

Quote

You said, that it's possible to play around having to move first, if you just play right and build your list right.

Also not what I said.  (It's true, albeit incredibly limiting (as we have seen), but it's not what I said.)

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13 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

You can learn how to play the game in a way that doesn't absolutely require you to always have perfect information.

 

30 minutes ago, Naerytar said:

It's possible to play around having to move first, if you just play right and build your list right.

 

Explain the difference, please.

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45 minutes ago, gamblertuba said:

Bidding to move last is super-dumb but at least it forces those Ace players to tie 7-10% of their points behind their back. 

I'd rather they have to play with their perfect information moves tied behind their back.

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2 minutes ago, Naerytar said:

Explain the difference, please.

I was talking about competitive X-Wing.  Multiple games in a tournament environment.

If I were talking about just playing I3s to beat I5s and I6s in single games, why in the world would I be arguing that bidding is bad? My entire argument is that if people have to worry about constantly facing other I6s and I5s, without being near-guaranteed perfect knowledge, it will make lower Initiative pilots more playable in competition.  And, for good or ill, compeition X-Wing is what drives the game right now.

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7 hours ago, __underscore__ said:

...why?

Multiple reasons, such as it adds useless clutter to the game. And when you’ve been to some of the tournaments I have, you realize space can be an issue. 

The more concerning problem comes when slapping a useless upgrade isn’t even an option. @JReim made an interesting point about the number of low cost Talents available, but that point is contingent on there being a free Talent slot or even one at all. Same applies to useless mods. If the mod slot is in use or not there in some cases, then the player is punished even if they weren’t trying for a bid anyway.

So, to sum up, I don’t think it’s a good option because it clutters up the game, hits non-offending lists, and I don’t think would actually be effective. 

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I don't think thus solution would work for competitive X-wing. There are many match-up where who moves first or last will provide a significant advantage, and that will happen regardless of bids (pretty much any ship with high Initiative and reposition can gain a pretty big advantage from moving last). The matches where Initiative really doesn't matter are few and far between IMO (out of games where both sides have pilots of same Initiative of course) .

 

This means that, at the beginning of many games, a coin toss will decide which side gets handed a hefty advantage. Now, this might somewhat work in Swiss, over an even number of rounds, although a bad streak in the latter rounds might crew up your tournament chances, but this will definitely not work in the elimination bracket. Feeling that you won/lost a game on the opening coin toss is pretty crappy.

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I can't say I'd be opposed. I think having to master the squad I like to play in both initiative states should be part of the measure of skill. Knowing how my squad blocks as well as it tries to avoid them should count for something.

As it stands, some squads then might not have much to fill out that last few points though. It is entirely feasible to end up with slots left over and no card to fill out a few points. This begs the question what is the value of Dead space in a build if there is no way to avoid it? Is it reasonable to say it's balanced when it turns out that a cheaper squad still proves consistently better at the competitive level? It's not like you could take away is bid with a point increase at that point. It leaves some questions to be answered.

Low key though, I'm kinda hoping 3d edition does away with initiative entirely, and it and Armada both get an alternating system that works.

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It is an interesting proposition, and I think it is a good idea (I also think that the bid counting as destroyed once points are lost is also good)

Ultimately it would change squad building decisions. If I can no longer "guarantee" my Redline will move last, is his value now lower to me as it is now subject to more variance? But if I am flying Boba, I don't give a toss and nothing changes.

My view on the larger bids comes down to the cost of upgrades been much higher/lower power limit. In 1.0, am I better having PTL or the 3pt bid? Autothrusters or a 2pt bid? In those situations, you would much rather have those than the bid. But would I prefer afterburners, or the 8pt bid if I'm i6/i5? I'll take the bid thank you.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Kinda suggests that it might not be best to build a squad that auto-loses if it has to move first, doesn't it?

It's not about auto-losing. Between equally skilled players, the one that gets an advantage should win more often than not. 

 

As it's very difficult to build a competitive squad that also simply doesn't care if you go first or last, in many match-ups, your squad will be given an advantage or a disadvantage based on the pre game coin flip. Starting a single elimination game already with a hill to climb due to sheer randomness is not fun, IMO at least. 

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What I would like to see, even if it's in the realm of a House Rule, is a way for players to seize the initiative.  You may start with first player, but for a cost of some type, you can take first player from your opponent.  Of course on subsequent rounds he can always take it back...for a cost of some type that is.

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On 1/8/2019 at 1:38 AM, LordBlades said:

It's not about auto-losing. Between equally skilled players, the one that gets an advantage should win more often than not. 

 

As it's very difficult to build a competitive squad that also simply doesn't care if you go first or last, in many match-ups, your squad will be given an advantage or a disadvantage based on the pre game coin flip. Starting a single elimination game already with a hill to climb due to sheer randomness is not fun, IMO at least. 

 

I'm not going to lie, the current bid system doesn't fix this in any way, shape or form.  IMHO, the current system for bids makes people feel like there's a real strategy and they have a chance, but in reality, is more like the lottery and your decisions are far less meaningful and the outcome far more random than  people like to think.  Unless you're bidding something positively ridiculous, you might as well be rolling a dice and that's in the match-ups where it even matters.

 

A lot of the arguments against a random first player system also seems to inadvertently make the really weird assertion that the "skill" of deciding your bid is more important and indicative of a good player than being able to play against someone moving 1 or more ships after you.  This assertion really baffles me to no end.  Why should a player not have to learn the skill of accounting for someone moving after them?

 

There is no compelling argument that there would be a meaningful adverse effect to a random first player system.  

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8 hours ago, MasterShake2 said:

 

I'm not going to lie, the current bid system doesn't fix this in any way, shape or form.  IMHO, the current system for bids makes people feel like there's a real strategy and they have a chance, but in reality, is more like the lottery and your decisions are far less meaningful and the outcome far more random than  people like to think.  Unless you're bidding something positively ridiculous, you might as well be rolling a dice and that's in the match-ups where it even matters.

 

A lot of the arguments against a random first player system also seems to inadvertently make the really weird assertion that the "skill" of deciding your bid is more important and indicative of a good player than being able to play against someone moving 1 or more ships after you.  This assertion really baffles me to no end.  Why should a player not have to learn the skill of accounting for someone moving after them?

 

There is no compelling argument that there would be a meaningful adverse effect to a random first player system.  

I disagree. While there will be times Initiative will be random in the current system, there will also be many times when it's not. In a random initiative system it's always random. As such, the current system is objectively less random. 

 

Regarding being able to play against someone moving 1 or more ships after you, here I think X-wing has a pretty big design flaw: some ships gain such a huge advantage from moving last (thinking stuff like Vader, Kylo, Poe etc.) that you'd need to be significantly more skilled than your opponent to make up for that advantage. The way tournaments work though, past a certain point, the option of being significantly more skilled than your opponent is no longer there (you eventually get matched with people of your skill or better). At that point, some games will likely be won/lost on random initiative.

 

Ultimately, the skill of accounting for someone moving after you is useful in  oth system (bidding doesn't guarantee you will move last), except bidding also makes use of a second skill in the squad building phase. In my opinion it's not one or the other, but one or both skills. 

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It'd really not solve the overall problem. I6 pilots and I1 pilots still polarise the war. Anything else in between risks a hard counter during tournaments.

I personally think FFG needs to stop the automatic lowest - highest pilot skill cost curve pricing scheme. Middling pilots have been the worst since the start of the game, and they never seemed to realise that inherent flaw. The only exceptions were those that had absurd abilities that made their prices effective.

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On 1/8/2019 at 12:10 AM, ForceSensitive said:

I think having to master the squad I like to play in both initiative states should be part of the measure of skill. Knowing how my squad blocks as well as it tries to avoid them should count for something.

Exactly. Random or alternating initiative tests your skills far more. Also, the skill of actually flying your ships should count for far, far more than the "skill" of choosing a bid number.

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And what would happen, if there was a rule, that legal lists are between e.g. 190-200 pts? That the bid couldn't be bigger, than 10 pts? 10 pts seems a reasonable number.

That way FFG could minimize the bid wars to some extent.

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9 minutes ago, Jedu said:

And what would happen, if there was a rule, that legal lists are between e.g. 190-200 pts? That the bid couldn't be bigger, than 10 pts? 10 pts seems a reasonable number.

That way FFG could minimize the bid wars to some extent.

In practice it will likely translate in most lists being 200 points or 190 points, with little in between. 

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