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Steel Command Editorial: Armada 2.0

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I agree with all points EXCEPT for the app.  I have a hard time trying to articulate exactly WHY I hate the app - I just do.  I think it has something to do with the fact that I make videos, and when a new card gets spoiled for x-wing... I can't really TALK about it because I'm only seeing a fraction of the card and not what's under the hood.  I'd much rather points be printed on the cards with an asterisk or some type of halfway mechanic.  

Your other points were great though!   I especially like grit baked into Intel, and Damage Control baked into contain.  Simple changes that keep the game mostly the way it is now.   Changes that effectively can be explained to another player in one sentence - that will make the transition easier.  

 

I'd also like to see some type of way to reduce the amount of clutter on the board when massing squadrons.  Perhaps super squadrons that allow for several different miniatures to be added to represent and build a larger group of fighters beyond one squadron?  Speeding up gameplay would be a tremendous improvement IMO - and if I've got 10 TIE fighters, I'd like to be able to consolidate them into maybe 2 physical pieces or something like that - makes activating them faster and they may even feel less clunky.  

 

And the biggest thing is to reduce the cost.  An essentials kit would go a long way in that respect.  Especially if they add more than 2 factions at some point.  Unpainted miniatures would be another option as well.  

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I agree, fwiw. The xWing App, nah, sorry, I can oc see the practicality for the company, but for me it takes so much away from the feel, from „self sufficiency“. I prefer cards, points on cards etc. 

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17 minutes ago, Crabbok said:

Unpainted miniatures would be another option as well.  

Please do not!

I know, the Legion release schedule is "a bit" quicker than Armada, but I barely can carve out the time to play eitherone. Have all Legion expansions to date, but haven't had the time to paint a quarter of them. When I paint them, i want to do it right and good. But that takes a significant slice of time out of the schedule.

If I can either play or paint, dang I'm gonna play! But it's only half as enjoyable, when more than half the pieces on the board are blank.

 

Edited by R4Pi3R
The fiery home of big red hornedguy is on the naughty list...

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Suppose it's an option?   I'd love an "experimental" release from FFG one of these days - suppose they give us a rebel Assault Frigate Mk 1, and they release TWO versions... a painted one for 49.99, and an unpainted one for 29.99.   Then see which one does better.   Would it be worth it to make both?  Would one greatly outperform the other?  

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1. Sure... With the caveat that there might not be enough ways to deal enough damage in a fight to knock out ships if you take these out...Might shift the balance too far away from quality to quantity..

2. And 4. Seems reasonable and worth a shot... Keep in mind that Pryce and Bail are actually kind of versions of overwatch already...

3. Probably the best idea of the whole article...is it possible to get grit to stack so multiple jumps can have a bigger effect? Or ships that have grits already can get a boost?

5. My biggest beef! Armada's dice rolling is the most exciting portion of the game and fishing for crits takes that to another level...any ships getting a free pass against crits seems against the spirit of having random chance determine damage outcomes in the game. And again, we needed to be actually able to kill things in the game...as well, having that mechanic in the game again may unbalance the quantity of dice versus quality of dice relationship...

6. I think flotillae are fine now... Uncapping and increasing points kind of does the same thing anyways, but the cap has advantages..

A. The game just looks better... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I doubt there can be much to disagree with here...close your eyes and imagine star wars... 99 percent will see star destroyers,x wings, tie fighters... Tokra will see 8 gozantis...

B. Just speeds up the game..less fiddling about and more pewpew

7. Total agreement here, there are cards that are otherwise good that are sidelined purely due to cost... App is the best way to address this.

 

Thanks for a great article! Cheers

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4 hours ago, Tayloraj100 said:

It was a good article, lots of food for thought.

Made me wonder if one solution to the Demolisher/Yvaris problem shouldn’t be just to add the words, “discard this card...”

Might be worth a try... Usually though one activation of these effects is enough change the game... Disclaimer I'm not saying they need or do not need a change at this point.

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4 hours ago, PartyPotato said:

Pretty much agree with all of those suggestions.  Would love to hear your thoughts on improving the efficiency of squadron play. It definitely is the most prone to way too much measuring and analysis paralysis really slowing down the game.  

I was thinking a separate commander just for squads with the commander card having an ability and an upgrade bar with one or two slots...pretty much then generics as is, no aces, with the commander ability playing the dominant role but in a much more streamlined way, the upgrades adding some spice here and there

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1 hour ago, SkyCake said:

Might be worth a try... Usually though one activation of these effects is enough change the game... Disclaimer I'm not saying they need or do not need a change at this point.

Yes, it may not be enough, but since (as you say) one use in the right moment is still huge, maybe restricting them to only that would help some. At least, it might make MSU fleets more attractive.

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7 hours ago, BiggsIRL said:

Not going to lie, a CAG commander would be a lot of fun for the game, and a good oppertunity to bring in Luke / Red Leader / Lando / Hera as squadron focuesed commanders.

Oh, that would be really fun.

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I agree with all points, im a bit secptical to the contain change, but if you limit the contian like you siad it could work. However I think an upgrade should be added to help crit effects go off like a trubolaser that says if the contian token is spent your opponent can't spend any other tokens during this attack, or something like that.

Edited by xero989

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With Strat Advisor there also seems to be a perception issue, at least from the Rebel side. 

Because I have looked at it most closely with Sato, consider the following:

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser, Strategic Advisor, Ordbance Experts, Electronic Counter Measures, Assault Concussion Missiles, External Racks. 125pts. 

Vs

MC30 Scout Frigate, Ordnance Experts, Assault Concussion Missiles.

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette, Ordnance Experts, Assault Concussion Missiles. 

Together 127pts. 

They are both 2 activations, yet the latter is heavily favoured. I am not particularly suprised but find it curious that in a meta full of high burst damage and fleets with the ability to delete any one ship that this is so glaringly the case. 

For imps a Glad plus Raider just doesnt measure up to an ISD in the same way as often.

Dont disagree with much of what you said just thought I would expand the conversation. 

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First of all I appreciate the time taken to write up this document, at least someone is attempting to get something going in a new direction.

 

That being said, my reaction to “easy fixes“ is generally: “no, thank you“, as games like Armada have so many interdependency that it is exceedingly hard to cause balance, rather than a new kind if imbalance.

Changing Intel to give Grit sounds good, Is it even necessary? Many of the top rebel wings dont even have intel anymore, but rather anihilate sqd opposition or split bomber and non bomber up, the former tieing down enemy sqds away from the own bomber. The proposed change would make it thus easier for these lists as intel cannot help the opponent engage the bomber wing.

Last and First is such an integral part of Armada strategy and tactics, that without it we should just make a different game altogether. A counter mechanic would either be pointless if too weak, or completely kill small ships. At that point we might just all play 2 isds. Getting last firsted is a danger if you wanna play huge point bastions... i think that is actually fair and the recent success of double isd lists shows that there is no issue - game balance wise.

Making contain include the dco effect is a good way to put maybe a quarter of the currently played upgrade cards in upgrade limbo, also it removes so much theoretical damage potential that, together with the fact that contains are mostly available on large ships, we can just remove most small, fast, flimsy ships from the competitive scene, as they will but be a liability. See the Trc90 ... anyone remember the trc90.

I dont see the necessity for an app, ffg should just change cards and give us the option to buy new prints, while keeping the old ones tournament legal under the changed rules. Maybe make a separate pdf for point changes or similar.

Edited by RapidReload

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I am wondering if the app to fix points would not solve everything ...

Make demo and Yavaris significantly more expensive (in the 20+ point range?), flotillas a but more expensive, Nebulon-Bs and victories a bit cheaper. Strat advisor and the activation-trumping officers a bit more expensive. All of that would make 'first-lasting' considerably more expensive, and bring back to the game ships we more rarely see.

Besides that, I feel the current Armada meta is worth praising: I have a very good idea what the best list is in X-wing, Legion, etc (or maybe between 2-3 lists), best decks for L5R, game of thrones, and I have almost always had that impression at any point in time. It's arguably when I did not know what was best that I felt the games were at their top.

For Armada ... I just don't know. Look at how diverse the top cut for the Vassal world cup is ... Most ship bases are represented. Squadron-less or full squadron are present and apparently competing at similar levels. And we had a loooong time to figure the meta out, yet the very best list eludes me, which I feel is a strong sign for a healthy meta. And I am not talking about the details between a couple upgrades, but whole fleet design.

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On 1/19/2019 at 4:56 PM, R4Pi3R said:

Please do not!

I know, the Legion release schedule is "a bit" quicker than Armada, but I barely can carve out the time to play eitherone. Have all Legion expansions to date, but haven't had the time to paint a quarter of them. When I paint them, i want to do it right and good. But that takes a significant slice of time out of the schedule.

If I can either play or paint, dang I'm gonna play! But it's only half as enjoyable, when more than half the pieces on the board are blank.

 

Agree please do not sell only unpainted miniatures. It is one of the main reasons I got into this was because I could focus in the game and not paint.

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Great article @Truthiness - I agree with a lot of the points made. 

In terms of Demolisher to what extent is your view influenced by the data coming out of your regionals data collection project?

  All Top 50% Top 25% Top 10% Winners

Yavaris 9% 7% 9% 8% 0%
Demolisher 25% 25% 28% 28% 47%

As I've already said in that thread the fact that the same ship title, with almost the exact same build in most cases, is in half of all Imperial fleets (out of ~140 lists so far) and half of all winning lists is probably not a great thing for the game. Yavaris on the other hand is already on the wane - mainly due to factors that make Yavaris go squish quickly being on the rise, namely Demolisher being even more effective, SA meaning more last-first opportunity, and Raddus dropping and killing it quick. If Demolisher and SA get nerfed then you may well see a resurgence of Yavaris again. 

An app to make changing of points costs would be great. It's a lot easier to remember what has and what hasn't changed compared to FAQs - especially for newer players.

 

 

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