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Turcopolier

Ideas for reining in the bid war

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Hello there! (Let's start with an Obi-wan reference)

Long-time player(wave 4 I think?), long-time reader of the forums, third-time poster. This is my first attempt to join the everlasting discussion on how to improve/change the game, and I'm fully aware that this is a subjective opinion. 
For me, xwing has always been a game that at its core is, or at least should be, about reading and outwitting your opponent. "What is the person across the table going to do?" is the most important thing. The other important thing is that of balance, in my opinion best achieved through what we can call "trade-off" or "alternative cost". I was a person who actually appreciated VI and adaptability, in the sense that it forced you to trade. "Do I want to move last or do I want to have the option of double repositioning?".
A bid was/is in itself not necessarily bad; you trade possible points for an advantage. 
Herein however lies the biggest problem according to me: the do-or-die of getting to move last, a clear advantage when referring to repositioning and target-locks. There isn't a major* trade-off in the order of movement since it gives you such an advantage that spending almost the full price of a tie-fighter justify it.

*Blocking is the natural trade-off here, however the existence of upgrades that allow you to reposition before your manoeuvre severely hampers this.

The feeling of having"lost or won" due to initiative before the game starts is not something I appreciated.

Since you're not supposed to just criticize without being constructive, here's my two cents:

1.
Naturally split the advantage of last movement and the high mobility that double repositioning offers. 

-------------------------------- Cost----------------------------------->

                                                        Init6 (single repos.)
Init1 -> Init2 -> Init3 -> Init4 ->{
                                                        Init5 (double repos.)

This would according to me decrease the bid wars, since the effect of a successful bid isn't as big (which leads us to the main advantage of this change: the negative effect of a failed bid is equally reduced). Perfect board knowledge and the tools to exploit that knowledge wouldn't be linked in the same way, forcing you to become better at reading your opponent.

2.
My second cent regards target locks, also heavily dependent on initiative.
The suggested change here would be to move the measuring and acquisition of the lock itself to the beginning of the combat phase.
You would still take the action as normal, allowing an opponent to get within range. The effects of this would narrow the advantage gap that exists in alpha strike lists. 
Taking the target lock action would signal your intention, allowing the opponent to avoid you arc if he or she has that option and leaving you without any other mods. It can as such also be used as a bit of area denial.


All of this might need some point changes, but I think that the current pricing system doesn't correctly represent the advantage that player order gives.

Well, that's all I had. Hopefully these changes hasn't been suggested somewhere already (and properly bashed and dissected, hehe). Thoughts?

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Idea with target locks is neat. But, if we think of it deeper, then you could see  that the current situation nicely reflects how it would look like in SW "real life". The better pilot is able to quicker react and use his experience and tricks to target lock an enemy, while at the same time lower PS pilot, not experienced as much, struggles to do the same against the better pilot. In the end, the lower PS pilot is focused on gaining TL and fails the action (not doing any other action), and the better pilot at the same time acquires TL and is able to shoot more precisely at somehow distracted enemy.

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38 minutes ago, eeen said:

I think that if we scored the matches as 200 - (points remaining on the board) it could resolve the bidding wars but I've put in 0 testing so what do I know.

Thats interesting.  You come in with a 13 point bid and that would mean before the first dials go down your opponent is up by 13 MOV.  From there he can simply K-turn back and forth on his side of the mat forcing you to come at him if he wants to win.

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9 minutes ago, pickirk01 said:

Thats interesting.  You come in with a 13 point bid and that would mean before the first dials go down your opponent is up by 13 MOV.  From there he can simply K-turn back and forth on his side of the mat forcing you to come at him if he wants to win.

People will fill up their lists right quick. 

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34 minutes ago, Pewpewpew BOOM said:

People will fill up their lists right quick. 

The way the game is right now, I think y'all underestimate how strong moving and repositioning last is.  The points locked away by the bid is a bonus side-effect, not the reason people do it.

There might be something to doing both this and getting rid of simultaneous fire, though.

In any event, points-rebalancing is on January 28th.  I'm curious if they're going to try to address this, and if so, how.

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6 hours ago, Okapi said:

Just get rid of the simultaneous fire rule. Want to move last to get a guaranteed lock for your Wedge against my Quickdraw? Well, then I get to shoot and potentially kill you before you get to fire.

This is close, but causes problems.  Imagine a TIE swarm mirror match.  Initiative would be very important to fire first as the TIE swarm which fires first would have a massive advantage if simultaneous fire rule were gone.

I think in addition to this, both activation and engaging should alternate beginning with whoever has initiative.

 

Example:  We are playing against each other and we both bring three PS5 pilots.  You win the dice roll and you give me initiative.

I activate my first PS5 to move.

Then you activate a PS5 to move.

then I activate my second PS5 to move.

then you activate your second PS5 to move.

....

once everyone is done activating, I shoot first since you gave me initiative.

I engage with my first PS5 (my choice which one)

you engage with your first PS5 (your choice)

I engage with my second PS5

you engage with your second Ps5

....and so on.

 

I feel this would help to reduce the importance of imitative.  Where this tweak falls short is in situations where we each have a single "ace" and we're bidding for the initiative on that one particular "ace" and none of the other ships matter.  However I feel this is less of an issue now that we are operating between 1 --> 6 (mostly 5's) instead of 1 -- > 9 (with V.I. upgrade introducing 10 and 11).

 

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There is a simple fix to reduce the bidding wars: reintroduce VI and adaptability and widen the PS spread from 1-9.

 

The fact that bidding wars are off the charts right now is purely because we went from 11 to 6 options for pilot skill, which makes going last an even larger advantage than before. It's is a very logical cause and result. This is what 2.0 is, deal with it.

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Points spent on upgrades can be scored in whole or in part without destroying the entire list. Points spent on a bid then are not the same as points spent on upgrades. Points spent on a bid can only be scored by destroying the entire list. 

If a bid is a valid squad-building decision, those points must be available to be scored in matches that only go to time the same way points spent on upgrades are available to be scored. 

The issue is not that bids are deep but that bids hide points from being scored except in case of tabling a squad. 

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15 hours ago, LagJanson said:

Or, you know, wait to see what the points bring. The majority of correctly costed ships don't tend to want to bid too deeply.

You just need to wait until January 28th... oh wait.

Yeah, I'm curious how the points changes will affect this.  It seems to me that the trade-off of bids is that you bring less to the table in return for moving last.  If someone can make ridiculously high bids and still match well against a fuller list, I would think either their stuff is undercosted or the opponent's stuff is overcosted (not necessarily mutually exclusive options).  Either way, points adjustments could help a little.

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It seems very simple to me. Have alternating initiative. At the end of each round, flip the First Player token over.

The components even support this: they included a double sided initiative token like in Imperial Assault.

I always play with this house rule, and it makes pilot skill clashes much more interesting.

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7 hours ago, JJ48 said:

Yeah, I'm curious how the points changes will affect this.  It seems to me that the trade-off of bids is that you bring less to the table in return for moving last.  If someone can make ridiculously high bids and still match well against a fuller list, I would think either their stuff is undercosted or the opponent's stuff is overcosted (not necessarily mutually exclusive options).  Either way, points adjustments could help a little.

Don't we two different but inter-twined issues?

One is whether or not things are priced correctly. It seems reasonable that part of pricing things is so they can "afford" a bid if they need to move last. You can make the choice if you'd rather do without an upgrade for a better shot at going last in a mirror or overall or if the upgrade is worth the chance of not getting the choice. 

The other issue is that all the points need to be on the table. If something is costed at 62 becomes it needs to go last but "should" be 65 then the value of that ship or what you can score if the match goes to time or if you're the loser needs to reflect those "missing" three points. 

A bid has value. You're gotten something with those points. Those points need to be "on the table" without tabling the list. And points values need to be set with consideration for what the value of "moving last" is. 

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3 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

Don't we two different but inter-twined issues?

At least.

4 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

One is whether or not things are priced correctly

Correct.

5 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

A bid has value. You're gotten something with those points.

You're not wrong here either. Value being

  1. potential to bid (which may be wasted points if your opponent out-bids you)
  2. also 'unkillable' points if the game goes to time (assuming you didn't bid too deep and hurt your chances of getting to time.)

There is a risk/reward element here, which is why I don't immediately jump up and down on the bids as being a problem. The reward currently outweigh the risks, but some of that goes back to the points in the first noted problem.

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24 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

Don't we two different but inter-twined issues?

One is whether or not things are priced correctly. It seems reasonable that part of pricing things is so they can "afford" a bid if they need to move last. You can make the choice if you'd rather do without an upgrade for a better shot at going last in a mirror or overall or if the upgrade is worth the chance of not getting the choice. 

The other issue is that all the points need to be on the table. If something is costed at 62 becomes it needs to go last but "should" be 65 then the value of that ship or what you can score if the match goes to time or if you're the loser needs to reflect those "missing" three points. 

A bid has value. You're gotten something with those points. Those points need to be "on the table" without tabling the list. And points values need to be set with consideration for what the value of "moving last" is. 

Agree, but I just want to point out one sucky happenstance: when you get outbid by 1 point (e.g. 192 vs. 191 points as recently happened to me with Kylo). So in this case you not only lose moving last, you gave your opponent 8 points (for ex.) for free. So maybe only the winning bidder gives up the points? I dunno, that all seems fidgety, like Lag I hope the points fix addresses the bid problem to a fair extent.

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23 hours ago, eeen said:

I think that if we scored the matches as 200 - (points remaining on the board) it could resolve the bidding wars but I've put in 0 testing so what do I know.

I honestly thought this how it was until my first tournament.   It surprised me that I didn’t get the bid-points unless I had complete victory.  (Ie: your 13 point bid was counted ONLY if all your ships were defeated)

 

 

 

of course I acted “forgetful” when I learned this...  lol

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28 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

Don't we two different but inter-twined issues?

One is whether or not things are priced correctly. It seems reasonable that part of pricing things is so they can "afford" a bid if they need to move last. You can make the choice if you'd rather do without an upgrade for a better shot at going last in a mirror or overall or if the upgrade is worth the chance of not getting the choice. 

The other issue is that all the points need to be on the table. If something is costed at 62 becomes it needs to go last but "should" be 65 then the value of that ship or what you can score if the match goes to time or if you're the loser needs to reflect those "missing" three points. 

A bid has value. You're gotten something with those points. Those points need to be "on the table" without tabling the list. And points values need to be set with consideration for what the value of "moving last" is. 

That's entirely possible, but more than I can speak to.  I don't play in tournaments, so I can't really say what value points have after you've built your list and decided initiative. 

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I don't know what the value of moving last should be. But you get something for a bid the same as you get something for an upgrade or higher priced ship. It doesn't seem fair that the only way to score the points spent on bids is by tabling the list while you can score points on ships or upgrades without tabling the list. 

Maybe it depends on how often scoring an extra couple of points changes the MOV? 

I don't play a lot of tournaments either but tournaments are going to change the points list and even casual night is beholden to the points list.  

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On 1/24/2019 at 6:57 AM, Turcopolier said:

For me, xwing has always been a game that at its core is, or at least should be, about reading and outwitting your opponent. "What is the person across the table going to do?" is the most important thing.

I agree.  People come into the match with their lists picked, and in a sense, they have to pick unknowing what they're up against.  That's very different from how the rest of the game is played.

What if:

  • Each player must bring a 200 point list.
  • Players share the lists with each other.
  • A bidding war commences.
    • A player with equal or more points to their opponent may remove one or more cards (ship/upgrade/etc) from their list, reducing their points cost by that much, and gaining initiative.
    • The other player may
      • choose to remove one or more cards to reduce their list points to below the opponent
      • Not reduce their squad anymore

These last several steps repeat until someone chooses not to limit their squad anymore, and the opposing player receives initiative.

Then you can see what you're up against and you won't have a failed bid, unless the other player is willing at that point to outbid you.

Thoughts?

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