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Cloaker

7 observations about Gas Clouds effect on the game so far

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Posted (edited)

After a few games with them, some things to consider;

1) They seem to prolong games running to time. 

2) In a way that seems the antithesis of what the designers have stated is their intent, the chances of rounds being decided more thoroughly through the core mechanic of rewarding good players who get arc on their opponents is significantly neutered.

3) They are quite the boon to high health low agility ships (looking at you, Rebel Beef) who stand more to benefit from failing to get out of opponent's arcs.

4) Biggs rolling five dice on R3 obstructed defense with Evaan evade boost getting an improved evade chance is pretty crazy.

5) "Easy mode" play potential seems to be increased. Certainly helps new players as well as vets so that's good. No ill effects besides loss of action helps lists who have little to lose.

6) Increases exponentially the prevailing "Trick Shot Talent for ships with secondary arc" attack design more. Scum Han, Trick A-Wings, Firesprays, etc. Dash is going to be outstanding with these.

7) Swarms, which are already very strong in Hyperspace, become even more dominant without having to fear breaking up their formation. Given that the game is already in a 4 ship+ state for the most part now, while this works counter to the goal of bringing large base ships into relevance it does encourage more models, which is good for the company to stay financially healthy and keep at the game for us.

Interesting design choice. It also makes me wonder what the dark twin of it could be for the next obstacles choice. Something so punishing, it strikes fear in any ship that goes near it. I would think that Ion Storms fit the bill there, (50% chance of Ion token) as few small ships would want to face toward the board's edge and into oblivion potentially. That would help make large ships a bit more viable, as they could weather the effects for a key round. It would also get lists pointing inward to the play area meaning less games going to time maybe. Helps swarms even more though.

Just my morning thoughts. Cheers!

Edited by Cloaker

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counter point, if positioning is truly the core mechanic of the game being rewarded, then positioning yourself to be taking shots obstructed by gas clouds further achieves that goal. If you find yourself having to shoot through gas clouds a lot, your opponent is outflying you. 

 

"scissors fine, paper OP" - Rock

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1 minute ago, nikk whyte said:

counter point, if positioning is truly the core mechanic of the game being rewarded, then positioning yourself to be taking shots obstructed by gas clouds further achieves that goal. If you find yourself having to shoot through gas clouds a lot, your opponent is outflying you. 

 

"scissors fine, paper OP" - Rock

It certainly could make hunting running point fortress aces even harder, for sure.

 

Not sure if that's a good thing?

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7 minutes ago, Cloaker said:

It certainly could make hunting running point fortress aces even harder, for sure.

 

Not sure if that's a good thing?

so dont bring them? control what you can, and place them where you want them. you get the option of placing 2/3 of them, might as well put them in places that dont help your opponent. 

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So it's better for swarms because they get to maneuver more easily, better for aces because they can dodge and bait more effectively and better for 4 ship because it can make their low defense die go farther...who are gas clouds not better for? And to expand on that, if both players are reaping equal rewards, then where's the issue?

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Just now, nikk whyte said:

so dont bring them? control what you can, and place them where you want them. you get the option of placing 2/3 of them, might as well put them in places that dont help your opponent. 

Or counter players could just bring Starfortresses with Trajectory Seismics? Bombers with initiative could place two near their side also and just blow them up with reload seismics too. There are definitely options.

If two get cornered in placement out of the three, if an ace is fleeing that's pretty good benefits when GTFO. Something to consider with my Gurigrrl.

Certainly looking forward to seeing how the top players in the game use them on Hyperspace livestream.

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1 minute ago, MasterShake2 said:

So it's better for swarms because they get to maneuver more easily, better for aces because they can dodge and bait more effectively and better for 4 ship because it can make their low defense die go farther...who are gas clouds not better for? And to expand on that, if both players are reaping equal rewards, then where's the issue?

Didn't say it was an issue, brother, just sharing observations after some games with them and thinking aloud. I'm using them, for the record. They benefit my list heavily and certainly make my gameplan easier to execute.

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Posted (edited)

This sounds like a whinge.

Its better for everyone apparently, so therefore worse to bring them regardless of who you're playing against.

The one truth I think is that they make games longer and support squads that want a longer game where less damage is dealt (like aces or big bases).  Squads that want a game where a lot of damage is dealt (like Swarms and rebel beef) generally don't want them.

Edited by TheCeilican

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35 minutes ago, nikk whyte said:

so dont bring them? control what you can, and place them where you want them. you get the option of placing 2/3 of them, might as well put them in places that dont help your opponent. 

This.

In the most extreme case, bid for first player and set two clouds to completely inconsequential places.

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Posted (edited)

If you are using trick shot, DO NOT take gas clouds. It counters your attack giving them an auto evade. Trickshots bonus is relying on # hits/crits on die > than evades. Gas clouds basically give 6 evades on that extra green dice. Same with swarms, you only have 2 dice. Dont give the enemy an evade on ALL of your attacks.

There is good and bad about gas clouds, just like any other obstacle. Here is what I noticed in my hyperspace trials. I took Tie Salad, and brought gas clouds. Played 7 games:

1) Strikers/Reapers LOVE them. Ailerons just fly over them without care in the world. Strikers get an auto evade (like a super LWF) with their puny two dice, allowing them to hit and run. Reapers can both aileron and sloop on them without penalty, making them more maneuverable.

2) Aces love them. Hide behind them, set up a lock, get an evade for every attack against you, then pop out next round. Really useful for Vader vs some double tap Ywings and Proton torpedo lists.

3) Alpha strike lists do not like them. They want to erase a ship quickly, and if that ship gets an evade for every attack, that makes it very difficult.

4) Coordinate ships are even more important. Your attacking ship can ignore flying over the gas cloud, lose its action, then get coordinated with zero penalty.

 

Gas Clouds are a boon for hit and run style lists. I did this with Vader during my trials. Put a gas cloud between him and the opponent, set up the lock, then he can go around or through it (since he has force) for a full mod shot. Then running away, hide behind it and setup a lock. Soontir, Fenn, etc are gonna love them. It gives aces survivability versus all these 4/5 ship lists.

Edited by wurms

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1 minute ago, wurms said:

If you are using trick shot, DO NOT take gas clouds. It counters your attack giving them an auto evade. Trickshots bonus is relying on # hits/crits on die > than evades. Gas clouds basically give 6 evades on one of those green dice. Same with swarms, you only have 2 dice. Dont give the enemy an evade on ALL of your attacks.

There is good and bad about gas clouds, just like any other obstacle. Here is what I noticed in my hyperspace trials. I took Tie Salad, and brought gas clouds. Played 7 games:

1) Strikers/Reapers LOVE them. Ailerons just fly over them without care in the world. Strikers get an auto evade (like a super LWF) with their puny two dice, allowing them to hit and run. Reapers can both aileron and sloop on them without penalty, making them more maneuverable.

2) Aces love them. Hide behind them, set up a lock, get an evade for every attack against you, then pop out next round. Really useful for Vader vs some double tap Ywings and Proton torpedo lists.

Gas Clouds are a boon for hit and run style lists. I did this with Vader during my trials. Put a gas cloud between him and the opponent, set up the lock, then he can go around or through it (since he has force) for a full mod shot. Then running away, hide behind it and setup a lock. Soontir, Fenn, etc are gonna love them. It gives aces survivability versus all these 4/5 ship lists.

My strategies exactly. Quickdraw surviving longer is a good thing for my list.

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6 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

This.

In the most extreme case, bid for first player and set two clouds to completely inconsequential places.

Having them clustered is vital. I am hoping to get some games in with 6 on the board this week.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, wurms said:

If you are using trick shot, DO NOT take gas clouds. It counters your attack giving them an auto evade. Trickshots bonus is relying on # hits/crits on die > than evades. Gas clouds basically give 6 evades on that extra green dice. Same with swarms, you only have 2 dice. Dont give the enemy an evade on ALL of your attacks.

 

Or, conversely: if you're playing Gas Clouds DO take Trick Shot as it almost entirely counters the extra defense dice the opponent will get when you fire through the cloud.

 

If you're relying on Trick Shot for offensive output then Gas Clouds nerf that.  But if you're relying on Gas Clouds for defensive benefit than Trick Shot props your attacks up while you get more evades.

Edited by TheCeilican

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11 minutes ago, TheCeilican said:

Or, conversely: if you're playing Gas Clouds DO take Trick Shot as it almost entirely counters the extra defense dice the opponent will get when you fire through the cloud.

This is my gameplan. One of those clouds is kind of long. Very helpful. If there are two in a field of 6, they make a neat wall to work with.

 

My other list (working on multi TIE S/Fs right now) has Guri dancing behind them with Trick Shot and Advanced Sensors. I call it "Guri's Perfume." :) Need to work out the other elements but Scum Han with title and trick shot is in the running. Will keep chipping away at it until I get it down better. 

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11 minutes ago, Cloaker said:

This is my gameplan. One of those clouds is kind of long. Very helpful. If there are two in a field of 6, they make a neat wall to work with.

 

My other list (working on multi TIE S/Fs right now) has Guri dancing behind them with Trick Shot and Advanced Sensors. I call it "Guri's Perfume." :) Need to work out the other elements but Scum Han with title and trick shot is in the running. Will keep chipping away at it until I get it down better. 

I note that Blackout and Quickdraw both really like Gas Clouds, and the Upsilon doesn't mind not needing Collision Detector to be able to fly over them.

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1 hour ago, nikk whyte said:

counter point, if positioning is truly the core mechanic of the game being rewarded, then positioning yourself to be taking shots obstructed by gas clouds further achieves that goal. If you find yourself having to shoot through gas clouds a lot, your opponent is outflying you. 

 

"scissors fine, paper OP" - Rock

"TLT is a rewarding mechanic because you and your opponent can both take it to shoot each-other". Just because I get to participate in the paste eating, doesn't mean that it's fun or engaging. 

 

In actuality, all these obstacles do is encourage more "spam 4/5 beefy ships, go in a straight line" by further removing the consequences of hitting an obstacle. I don't know why FFG thought these would be a smart idea to put into the game. They remind me of TLT because they are just removing one of the fundamental aspects of the game to make it easier on players who aren't good at that aspect.  

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, TheCeilican said:

I note that Blackout and Quickdraw both really like Gas Clouds, and the Upsilon doesn't mind not needing Collision Detector to be able to fly over them.

lean Blackout with just TS, Quickdraw with TS / SF gunner, two omega aces with TS are where I am leaning. It seems like Time on Target is such a big part of the game right now and those turret are great for that. While not as strong at it as the resistance A's, the SF's do pretty well with it. Like it was said above, it's like a super lightweight frame in a way with the clouds. But Fanatical is so good too---I think it might be the best of the factional only talents. I don't think First Order is as bad as many think compared to the top factions right now.

Edited by Cloaker

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11 minutes ago, ThinkingB said:

In actuality, all these obstacles do is encourage more "spam 4/5 beefy ships, go in a straight line" by further removing the consequences of hitting an obstacle. I don't know why FFG thought these would be a smart idea to put into the game. They remind me of TLT because they are just removing one of the fundamental aspects of the game to make it easier on players who aren't good at that aspect.  

That's about the opposite of what they encourage.  They encourage fast ships that can dart in and out of cover.

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11 minutes ago, TheCeilican said:

That's about the opposite of what they encourage.  They encourage fast ships that can dart in and out of cover.

Would 4/5 ship rebel beef that took debris before these were released be harmed or helped by including these? Does giving Biggs 4/5 green dice at range 3 make him better or worse? Not to mention that they have an incredibly confusing wording that still has me confused on if they are just autothruster clouds or autothruster + stealth device clouds.

Either way it's not the biggest deal in the world because the people who bring glue clouds will simply have to deal with Anakin rolling 5/6 green dice at range 3. These encourage paste-eating, so in some way, they'll also encourage zippy aces to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge them.

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The thing I keep thinking about Gas Clouds and Trick Shot:  Sure, it's a little harder for a Trick Shot ship to push damage with gas clouds, but it's even harder to deal damage through a cloud without Trick Shot.

The math on this is a bit off, since I treated a gas cloud obstruction as an evade token, rather than only being able to turn blanks, but it should be pretty close.

  • 3 attack focused vs 2 agility.  1.531 expected hits.
  • 3 attack focused vs 2 agility obstructed.  1.217 expected hits.
    • Regular obstruction reduces damage by ~0.3 hits
  • 3 attack focused vs 2 agility obstructed by Gas Cloud,  0.494 expected hits.
    • Gas Cloud obstruction reduces damage by ~1.0 hits. 0.7 more than other obstructions
  • Trick Shot 3 attack focused vs 2 agility obstructed.  1.908 expected hits.
    • Trick Shot adds ~0.7 hits with regular obstructed attacks
  • Trick Shot 3 attack focused vs 2 agility obstructed by Gas Cloud.  1.053 expected hits.
    • Trick Shot only adds ~0.5 hits vs Gas Cloud attacks, 0.2 less than when shooting through other obstacles.

So the offensive benefit of Trick Shot is a little lower.  0.5 instead of 0.7 hits per attack when spending focus offensively vs no defensive focus.  But if exchanging shots across a rock, Trick Shot still comes out ahead, and likely more ahead.  They'll have 0.7 fewer hits than incoming shots across regular rocks.  The net change in hits is bigger--regular rock: 0.7 hits + 0.3 evades = 1.0 net, gas cloud: 0.5 hits + 1.0 evades = 1.5 net.

//

The thing I don't have a good handle with on Gas Clouds is how much they'll direct maneuvers.  For example, large-base ships seem far more likely to be willing to plow through Gas Clouds, since they won't lose their shots or have stress (which a lot of ships have trouble clearing).  The option to just fly at someone on the other side of a gas cloud without a huge penalty (actions are great, but losing an action to get a shot and good position is probably worthwhile) might be a game-changer.

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My observations:

1. Games go quicker between jousty lists. They don't mind losing their actions as they charge. On the contrary, dodgy lists with good mobility extend game length

2. Aces aren't prone to being RNG sniped nearly as hard. When they disengage, they buff defense.

3. They reward good positioning in shooting clear shots to one target but taking only obstructed shots from other enemy ships.

4. If you're shooting at Biggs through a gas cloud when you had opportunities to correct your trajectory to avoid that situation you clearly don't deserve to win the game. Full stop. Similarly, if you know what you are doing, the playing field is leveled against the beef. Perhaps try investing in multiple attack vectors and arc-dodging some?

5. A-wings are very disappointed with the clouds.

6. Blackout and Midnight are the epic trolls of the clouds. The former denies the dice to be modified, and the latter denies modifications to the dice. Both get all the usual benefits when being shot at through them except by edge cases such as themselves.

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2 hours ago, Cloaker said:

Interesting design choice. It also makes me wonder what the dark twin of it could be for the next obstacles choice. Something so punishing, it strikes fear in any ship that goes near it.

Static mines:  hit them and take (more) damage than just an asteroid.  This may (single mine) or may not (mine field) remove the obstacle from play.

Space Slug:  An asteroid with an innate "attack" out to range 1

1 hour ago, JJ48 said:

Black Hole.  If a ship overlaps it, that ship is immediately destroyed.  Also, it gains a stress.

Or, yeah, just go whole hog.

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