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kempokid

Getting Over the Jousting Syndrome

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STOP JOUSTING!

This has been a mantra for me, and has dramatically increased my win percentages. 

 

Jousting, in its simplest sense, has a tendency to be very volatile. Most of the players I see complaining about dice variance are also those committed to jousting. Thats because having an advantage in jousting efficiency alone doesn't give your list a win percentage needed to consistently make a cut in a long day of Swiss. From my experience, lists that aim to joust and are even advantaged in the joust against most/all of the field still go 3-3 or 4-2. This basically sums up my first regional season. 

So if we want a reasonable shot at making the cut we have to do more than build an efficient list and fly at our opponent. We have to actually play the game of maneuvering. To set up optimal engagements in the early game when you aren't trying to joust requires anticipating the speed your opponent will move at and where their arcs will land. This will enable you to identify where the safe areas for your ships are. The goal is generally to force engagements where your opponent has minimal shots fired back on you (Its easy to be happy with your dice if you rarely have to pick up your green dice). Spreading your ships out and forcing your opponent to chase one while your other ships get behind their list is one approach. You can also drag them through the asteroids which can break up your opponents formation.

A good player won't make this easy for you and will often force you to commit before you would like. My goal in these situations is to minimize the impact of the first engagement. Because my ships are usually more spread out than my opponent's ships, my ships ships will have more options for the following rounds of engagement. This is something that players wanting to joust should also work on. Players like Blair make cuts consistently with jousters because they plan for multiple rounds of combat, before that first engagement takes place. 

It's not the easiest thing, but when done right it puts the game in your control instead of your dice's control. Thanks for listening to the show Kempokid!

 

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This has been good conversation and I appreciate everyone’s input. I hope to put some of these thoughts to action as I get more games in during this Hyperspace season.

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One other thing you need to remember is to turn away early.  If you head for your enemies jousters and then turn away they just shoot you in the side.  Another thing you can think of is a sacrificial ship.  Pick a ship that jousts well, and survives well.  Hopefully what will happen is it will be dead, but it will also have done some considerable damage.  But once it is dead your flankes / aces are behind the enemy and you have one the game.  This is one of the Reason why pre-points change Redline was so good.   Sure he died quick, but he shot of two torpedoes and dropped some bombs before than and now your Whisper and Soontir are behind you enemy.  If you can set that up you will probably win.

 

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8 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

I know this is a pet peeve . . . 

When were horses introduced into X-Wing?  Heck the Star Wars game doesn't even include grav "lances"  :blink:

I have also been studying WW II tactics and I think the word everyone is trying to use is "Merge" or "The Merge."  That initial contact where fighters race in at each-other with guns blazing with the hope to inflict as much damage on their initial pass?  That's a "Merge."

 

Now for the advice bit . . . I have the opposite problem in that I fear the Merge and have worked on how to play a maneuver game, but I've failed miserably for the most part.  The game constraints and the game set up actually encourages players to set up an initial Merge.

Indeed, NOT merging is difficult.

I did face one player who did a good job setting up a maneuvering engagement and what he did was set up his ship in a corner at an L Shape vector with his one large ship headed slowly down the edge, while the faster fighter raced along his starting edge in an attempt to envelop my team from his left flank.

When I raced in to engage his solo fighter, this fighter pulled a K-turn and disengaged, while his heavy hitter fell in toward my rear.  Even if I had pursued his fighter, I would have been boxed in and flanked as I turned against the edge.  Ultimately his two ships fell on a very disorganized team and he mopped my ships up in short order.  However, that opening may be a gimmick because if I see that again, I now know how to defeat it.

I have tried similar approaches and usually end up being defeated in detail.  (My ships become isolated and are destroyed one at a time by superior numbers).

With my limited experience, I have found that trying to avoid a Merge is a bad idea (especially for me).

And to borrow a Chess analogy, avoiding a Merge in X-Wing sounds similar to avoiding the e4 pawn opening in chess.  It's still the best opening for the game for a reason.

 

it actually was called jousting in early ace combat, much like "cavalry" now describes Motor vehicles.  that was in the "pilot-with-a-pistol" days of ww1 dogfighting.

seperate from that, the "merge" describes merging vectors, which i guess exist in X-wing... but not the way they do in 3d space.   X-wing is nothing like dogfighting in any regard... its much more like horse cavalry tactics. flanking, pincers, charges, etc  are much more appropriate terms for x-wing play. Board=Field etc

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I have always tried to clump the obsticles together.   Some players try and place in the corners (2/2).  I try and set up to look to just.  Usually turn a 1 or 2 turn and run as fast into the rocks.   Make the opponent break up his formation or alter his plan.  I run Bro Bots often, and making the engagement to where I want helps.

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Just don't deploy directly across from your opponent's ships. Spread out and move into the map at different speeds and angles so that your opponent has to commit to one ship if they are flying their ships close together. Make sure that all of your ships are still going to get into range of the opponent at the same time, you don't want one of your ships to get caught in arc alone while your other ships are still trying to get into range. 

It's a lot harder for low initiative pilots to not end up in a joust because the opponent gets to counter deploy you and then gets to react to your maneuvers, though most of the time the list that has lower initiative has more guns and is happier to joust than the opponent. 

Something to also keep in mind is that your opponent ultimately is the one who decides where their flank is based on where they turn their ships. If your speeding one of your ships up the board to "flank" the opponent, but they turn sharply into your flanking ship at the last moment, that ship is no longer flanking. That's why it's important that all of your ships are converging onto the target in a manner where they will all get to shoot at the same time, otherwise your opponent might catch your "flanker" with their pants down in a kill box. 

Edited by Tvboy

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17 hours ago, RTCX Carson said:

To set up optimal engagements in the early game when you aren't trying to joust requires anticipating the speed your opponent will move at and where their arcs will land.

Thanks for the insight, Carson! Big fan of what you guys produce on the show.

In regards to anticipation, is the best way to anticipate more about knowing the opponents' ships or the opponent themselves? I feel like there could be two people with identical lists that approach the game differently. I suppose in a tournament setting you can really only anticipate what the ships should do. I guess it would be hard to know each opponents' personal tendencies unless it's a regular top competitor or a local event. So I guess it comes down to playing more games against a variety of opponents and maybe watching videos on how different ships start engagement?

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11 hours ago, Vontoothskie said:

it actually was called jousting in early ace combat, much like "cavalry" now describes Motor vehicles.  that was in the "pilot-with-a-pistol" days of ww1 dogfighting.

seperate from that, the "merge" describes merging vectors, which i guess exist in X-wing... but not the way they do in 3d space.   X-wing is nothing like dogfighting in any regard... its much more like horse cavalry tactics. flanking, pincers, charges, etc  are much more appropriate terms for x-wing play. Board=Field etc

Yeah I get it.

The trouble with citing a WW I source is that the prime mode of transport was still the horse (with a wagon attached).  So that society still thought in terms of using horses for transportation, and carrier pigeons for communications.  So "jousting" would still be fresh on their brains.  In spite of the fact that fighter pilots still didn't charge each other head to head for most aerial combat.

But there were some radical technological advances in the 1920's - 1930's that changed the way people perceived their world.

 

But putting my pettiness aside, I'm enjoying the topic.  I'd love to get better at setting up flank attacks for an initial engagement and trying to sort out HOW to do that is tricky.  I love the insights being shared.

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3 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

But there were some radical technological advances in the 1920's - 1930's that changed the way people perceived their world.

 

Aren't you forgetting that we're in a galaxy far, far away in a time long ago? Way before this 1920's - 1930's time period.

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3 minutes ago, kempokid said:

Aren't you forgetting that we're in a galaxy far, far away in a time long ago? Way before this 1920's - 1930's time period.

Nope. 

I'm in Orlando FL and it's still early 2019.  And a lot of my conversations about X-Wing are with contemporaries who discuss the game using metagaming terms.

Sure, I tend to call the "K-turn" an "Immelmann" in the game and everyone knows what I'm talking about.

 

And to go even MORE meta, Star Wars is actually considered to be a product of WW II movies.

 

I do however appreciate the snarky quip kempokid.  :D

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13 hours ago, Sciencius said:

I never said otherwise. That is entirely going on inside your own head. 

never said you did, as I wasnt quoting you or adressing you at all. thats "entirely going on inside your head"

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11 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Yeah I get it.

The trouble with citing a WW I source is that the prime mode of transport was still the horse (with a wagon attached).  So that society still thought in terms of using horses for transportation, and carrier pigeons for communications.  So "jousting" would still be fresh on their brains.  In spite of the fact that fighter pilots still didn't charge each other head to head for most aerial combat.

But there were some radical technological advances in the 1920's - 1930's that changed the way people perceived their world.

 

But putting my pettiness aside, I'm enjoying the topic.  I'd love to get better at setting up flank attacks for an initial engagement and trying to sort out HOW to do that is tricky.  I love the insights being shared.

this game isnt ww2 though either.

wizards fight with plasma swords while a sphere the size of england flies around 1-shoting planets until a dude meditates a rocket up its ***.

I like history as well but if this were realistic ww2 fighter combat we'd be shining lights in eachothers eyes and stalling out engines on the climb, and most of us would explode without ever seeing our killer...

X-wing is a cavalry or perhaps naval combat proxy using starfighters as models. 

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2 hours ago, Vontoothskie said:

this game isnt ww2 though either.

wizards fight with plasma swords while a sphere the size of england flies around 1-shoting planets until a dude meditates a rocket up its ***.

I like history as well but if this were realistic ww2 fighter combat we'd be shining lights in eachothers eyes and stalling out engines on the climb, and most of us would explode without ever seeing our killer...

X-wing is a cavalry or perhaps naval combat proxy using starfighters as models. 

Worth pointing out hours in Ace Combat have drilled into me that the head on pass is the fastest way to thin out numbers of AI craft.

Especially when said game decides to throw the gauntlet and siccs 8 x Burkut at the bloody Round Table. The game basically has you joust the final boss to boot.

Not to mention the head on pass is the only way for you to nail a fighter with a proton torpedo in the Xwing PC games short of shenanigans such as tractor beam.

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3 hours ago, Octarine-08 said:

Not to mention the head on pass is the only way for you to nail a fighter with a proton torpedo in the Xwing PC games short of shenanigans such as tractor beam.

A-Wings?  Yes.  Anything else?  Just a little timing.  Shoot, for Y-Wings and B-Wings, you don't even need particularly good timing.

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3 hours ago, Octarine-08 said:

Worth pointing out hours in Ace Combat have drilled into me that the head on pass is the fastest way to thin out numbers of AI craft.

Especially when said game decides to throw the gauntlet and siccs 8 x Burkut at the bloody Round Table. The game basically has you joust the final boss to boot.

Not to mention the head on pass is the only way for you to nail a fighter with a proton torpedo in the Xwing PC games short of shenanigans such as tractor beam.

Speaking of Ace Combat, could someone please have that team do a Star Wars game?

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1 hour ago, ficklegreendice said:

Oh right, forgot formats are a thing

...play Strikers 

It's almost impossible NOT to flank with Strikers!

I don't know what you mean. The TIE/sk is perfectly capable of flying in a straight liiiiii.......

[pinwheels off to one side and crashes into something*]

But yes. Ultimately, head on jousting reduces it to a dice game, and whilst luck (good or bad) is a thing (I refer you to my colleague above), ultimately the tyranny of averages will out, and it's normally pretty obvious which of you is best at it. If that's not you, don't deploy pointed straight at the enemy.

 

* I was originally amused by the fact the quick build Alpha Squadron Pilot came with Ablative Plating, but it's actually better than you'd think.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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43 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I don't know what you mean. The TIE/sk is perfectly capable of flying in a straight liiiiii.......

[pinwheels off to one side and crashes into something*]

Whenever someone finally gets around to developing TIE Fighter II, I hope it has flyable Strikers, Reapers, and Punishers in it.

Edited by JJ48

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On 2/4/2019 at 7:37 PM, Mark Caliber said:

And to go even MORE meta, Star Wars is actually considered to be a product of WW II movies.

Oh yes, they studied a lot of flight instructions and actual WW II footage.

The accumulated knowledge after doing the OT films was recycled doing this product:

Their_Finest_Hour_Coverart.png

 

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On 2/3/2019 at 7:14 PM, Mark Caliber said:

Thanks for the feedback Paul, but "locally" the term "Joust" is being used to refer to the Merge.  And the locals are getting this term from somewhere else.  They're mostly MTG players and don't strike me as being FRP'ers.

I do get it that the TIE Defender is considered a "Jouster" because it's exceptional at executing the K-Turn without stress . . . but, I'm still going to insist that it's an exceptional fighter in a "vertical scissors battle."

And yeah, I get that trying to apply real world fighter tactics to X-Wing is impracticable, because X-Wing is a two dimensional game while real world fighter tactics are fought in a three dimensional environment free of asteroids.  :rolleyes:

But it helps me re-enforce my learning if I can apply the WW II training terms to X-Wing, though imperfectly.

 

DANG IT ALL.  I just learned that I don't have enough 2.0 Shield Tokens to represent my 3 B-Wings that I'm flying tomorrow.  Looks like it's time to dig out some 1.0 tokens for tomorrow . . .

Red sharpie is the best 2.0 conversion kit any company has ever sold. Change my mind ;) 

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13 hours ago, Okapi said:

Speaking of Ace Combat, could someone please have that team do a Star Wars game?

Disney actually tried around 2014 to make an arcade style flight sim game. It was online arena based (think like Wowp/ WT arcade mode) but it had X-wings, Y-wings, Tie Fighters. There were even different variants, like you started off with the T-65a and could progress and unlock up to like the T-65d. Eventually it ended up getting cancelled. Not sure why. 

 

While I would love a game like that, until EA loses their exclusive license, you’re probably better off finding an old GameCube or PS-2 and playing the rogue squadron games to scratch that itch. Don’t get me wrong, Star fighter assault is cool, but has a different feel.

Actually come to think of it there was a homemade shootem up flight sim made where you could either do the trench run or battle or Endor. It was free on github, I don’t remember what it was called though.

Edited by FlyingAnchors

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On 2/4/2019 at 1:37 PM, RTCX Carson said:

STOP JOUSTING!

This has been a mantra for me, and has dramatically increased my win percentages. 

 

Jousting, in its simplest sense, has a tendency to be very volatile. Most of the players I see complaining about dice variance are also those committed to jousting. Thats because having an advantage in jousting efficiency alone doesn't give your list a win percentage needed to consistently make a cut in a long day of Swiss. From my experience, lists that aim to joust and are even advantaged in the joust against most/all of the field still go 3-3 or 4-2. This basically sums up my first regional season. 

So if we want a reasonable shot at making the cut we have to do more than build an efficient list and fly at our opponent. We have to actually play the game of maneuvering. To set up optimal engagements in the early game when you aren't trying to joust requires anticipating the speed your opponent will move at and where their arcs will land. This will enable you to identify where the safe areas for your ships are. The goal is generally to force engagements where your opponent has minimal shots fired back on you (Its easy to be happy with your dice if you rarely have to pick up your green dice). Spreading your ships out and forcing your opponent to chase one while your other ships get behind their list is one approach. You can also drag them through the asteroids which can break up your opponents formation.

A good player won't make this easy for you and will often force you to commit before you would like. My goal in these situations is to minimize the impact of the first engagement. Because my ships are usually more spread out than my opponent's ships, my ships ships will have more options for the following rounds of engagement. This is something that players wanting to joust should also work on. Players like Blair make cuts consistently with jousters because they plan for multiple rounds of combat, before that first engagement takes place. 

It's not the easiest thing, but when done right it puts the game in your control instead of your dice's control. Thanks for listening to the show Kempokid!

 

great post. im learning to be patient in my approach and look for opportunities to flank. rather list dependent but its possible to split ur force and autobump to dictate where first engagement will happen. range control is probably fifty percent of the game, probably more. im starting to build lists that have a dedicated blocker or expendable ship to help control range vs opposition squads that come at me head on.

Edited by Da_Brown_Bomber

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