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Jaric256

Suggestions/proposals for Community voted Trooper fix

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Hopefully I'm not the only one that disappointed with the state of Imperial Troopers.

Other than reworking all of them, which seems unlikely, maybe an Imperial upgrade card that gives all figures with the "trooper" trait +1 dmg and +1 block?

Anyway, love to hear some thoughts since this seems to be the time to discuss game changes we'd like to see.

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2 hours ago, Jaric256 said:

Hopefully I'm not the only one that disappointed with the state of Imperial Troopers.

Other than reworking all of them, which seems unlikely, maybe an Imperial upgrade card that gives all figures with the "trooper" trait +1 dmg and +1 block?

Anyway, love to hear some thoughts since this seems to be the time to discuss game changes we'd like to see.

There is nothing wrong with Imperial Troopers in my personal opinion.  There was a problem of power creep around them.  

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Posted (edited)

Which Imperial Troopers? Because most of the older ones have different issues besides just power creep & high Deployment cost.

The 3-figure deployments (Stormtrooper, Snowtrooper) really struggle with a high figure costs. Using Reinforcements to bring those figures back just feed your opponent VPs. 

The defensive bonus for Heavy Stormtrooper is pretty worthless, and the speed penalty is too steep.

The E-Web Engineer is all sorts of yuck.

Jet Trooper, Sentry Droid and Riot Troopers are pretty ok. 

I think the first step is reducing Deployment costs. After that, the power creep of Hunters and Spectre Cell should be addressed. That'll lower the baseline of what Troopers need after that.

I don't know if FFG is going to do something, but we will. Stay tuned!

Edited by cnemmick

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8 hours ago, Jaric256 said:

Hopefully I'm not the only one that disappointed with the state of Imperial Troopers.

Other than reworking all of them, which seems unlikely, maybe an Imperial upgrade card that gives all figures with the "trooper" trait +1 dmg and +1 block?

I think it's a crime that a Star Wars game basically never includes Stormtroopers because they suck so bad. That's just... wrong.

However. Without a complete rework, which is (as you acknowledge) unlikely - and is also very unlikely to be taken up by the community; it seems to me that changes should be as minimal as possible - I'm not sure what else can be done, though I'll be intrigued to see suggestions. What can you actually do to make rStormtroopers or rE-Webs attractive in the modern meta?

I like the intention behind the upgrade card you suggest, and it would be a pretty decent boost to eJets and DTs (do they really need a boost?)... but still kinda crappy for rStormtroopers. With such an upgrade, every now and then they might actually inflict some damage when they attack, and might take more than one attack to kill... but still probably won't. Maybe there's something there to work with? Or maybe they just suck too bad.

As with the other threads, it'll be helpful to define exactly what the goal is. Is it troopers, Stormtroopers, or rStormtroopers that need fixing? That's three very different objectives already, never mind how it might be achieved.

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I think all troopers need a boost although not all need it as badly as the others.  Even the better troopers like riots or jets don't see a whole lot of action these days.  

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Would Troopers gain significant value if instead of granting points for each figure, your opponent only gained half the deployment cost (rounded up presumably) of the squad when half the squad (really 2/3 given the size of most trooper deployments) was defeated? That way Reinforcement and the like still have value and aren't just feeding points but keeping one figure in the safe zone won't be very viable. This would mean points would be taken away when a squad gets reinforced back above half strength but it seems like there's enough victory point manipulation in the game these days that losing points isn't a crazy concept to grasp.

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Just now, GuillotineTE said:

I really like this one

Seconded.

With Stormtrooper Surge, maybe change "that figure" to "a friendly figure" or "a figure in the same deployment" or some such? With the fragility of Stormtroopers, I could see a lot of tokens never getting used because their bearer doesn't live long enough to attack next round. Distributing the tokens makes even rStorms a potential threat and if they can pass them out of the deployment, a good combo of cannon fodder and minor support. 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, birthright said:

How about these?

I like both concepts, as a starting point.

Stormtrooper Surge: I like how you need to include multiple units to get the discount, encouraging taking them in large numbers (rSTs suck at 6 points, would 2 units for 8 feel better? eSTs are not quite good enough these days at 9 points, but 2 units at 14 points might work?), plus they can still take attachments as well. Personally I'd drop E-Webs from consideration, or require three such cards not two; but the effect is nice. I wonder how useful it would really be, though, given that Stormtroopers (especially the r version) get swatted off the map so easily they're lucky to attack once, let alone multiple times. Still, gaining a damage token when you do no damage will be psychologically encouraging, at least. Choice of damage or surge tokens might be even cooler.

Rank and File: the card name sounds like it should be regular rather than elite (compare to Vader's Finest which sounds elite but isn't!), but names aren't a big deal for now. I like the effect of encouraging multiple figures in the same group to shoot at the same target, and reward them for doing so; Pierce X is good, though I wonder if simplifying to +X surges would be too much? The effect on Heavy Weapons seems to work against that though; Heavy Stormtroopers are the only(?) unit that spring to mind as multi-figure groups with both Trooper and Heavy Weapon, so all other units would be either taking this card for the multi-figure bonus, or the Heavy Weapon bonus. That might be deliberate on your part, maybe that's the point - just feels surprising to have two such different effects on the same card.

In either case remember that E-Webs have Assault, and their second shot would benefit from the first shot being by "a friendly figure". Again that might or might not be intentional (second shot gaining Pierce 1 seems reasonable, but using it to hit-and-run if you only want to fire once, not so much [edit] never mind, that's not possible [/edit]); if not, it should be "another friendly figure".

Edited by Bitterman

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E-Webs are trooper-Heavy weapon.  Also, everyone seem to think that because most of the troopers die in 1 hit, that that makes them super weak.  but think about it this way;  They need to make 3 attacks to remove that 6 cost group.  Where you have bt, thrawn, blaise, or anyone else at 6 points is almost guaranteed to get 2 shot.

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The other option I would consider would be one that combines Rebel Graffitti effect with Of No Importance but as an upgrade.

Thinking 0 points.  Must be attached to a Trooper.

Figures in this group do not score victory points until the entire group is defeated.

All figures in this group gain: if a figure in this group has been defeated, you may return Reinforcements from your discard pile to your hand.

Makes troopers expendable, but not.  Imagine 3 regular storm trooper groups with this upgrade on them: the 3rd of each group could hold objectives with nearly limitless reinforcements.  The limit of only 2 cards (and forcing them) in the command deck means attrition (and placement requirements) will provide dimishing returns.

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1 hour ago, MadFuhrer said:

E-Webs are trooper-Heavy weapon.  Also, everyone seem to think that because most of the troopers die in 1 hit, that that makes them super weak.  but think about it this way;  They need to make 3 attacks to remove that 6 cost group.  Where you have bt, thrawn, blaise, or anyone else at 6 points is almost guaranteed to get 2 shot.

But that one shot removes 1/3 of the offense of the group if not more, gives victory points, and their primary purpose requires being in frontline combat. And that's before you get to figures like Sabine and Drokata that might wipe the squad with blast. Thrawn and Blaise provide all their benefits and no VP until they're entirely defeated and they don't have to be in the frontline to do many of the things you would bring them for. BT has more health than a whole squad of rTroopers combined and will almost certainly do more damage even before he leverages his traits.

If there was something that turned raw numbers into enough damage to matter (like the common Troopers of that other Empire...), then the cheaper squishy troopers might become competitive again. The fixes suggested above might help with that. Maybe something that let multiple trooper deployments with the same name and cost function as a single deployment for activation and the suggested Pierce and damage token effects. Six or nine rTroopers working up to pierce 3+ and bonus damage (or surges) would be enough to make even the toughest targets sweat. It worked for Order 66.

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4 hours ago, hosercanadian said:

The other option I would consider would be one that combines Rebel Graffitti effect with Of No Importance but as an upgrade.

Thinking 0 points.  Must be attached to a Trooper.

Figures in this group do not score victory points until the entire group is defeated.

All figures in this group gain: if a figure in this group has been defeated, you may return Reinforcements from your discard pile to your hand.

Makes troopers expendable, but not.  Imagine 3 regular storm trooper groups with this upgrade on them: the 3rd of each group could hold objectives with nearly limitless reinforcements.  The limit of only 2 cards (and forcing them) in the command deck means attrition (and placement requirements) will provide dimishing returns.

This card would need to cost at least 1, IMO. That's just too good of an upgrade to be free.

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I was torn on free or 1 point.  I figured free as it didn’t improve stats per se, but then the constant flow of reinforcements does add up.

Maybe for 1 point if we add the Chewbacca special ability: after deployment but before drawing command cards you may search your deck for a reinforcement card.  You draw one fewer card to complete your starting hand.

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@KReyloBen I really like your damage floor solution! That's a very nice way to enable regular Stormtroopers to at least do something vs. Queen pieces.

I do disagree about bringing back "Hide a Trooper" points denial back into the game. I never played during that competitive meta, but the people who did told me horror stories. Additionally, one of my solutions for Stormies that I was championing lately was 1) reducing costs of Stormies down to 5/2 (regular) and 7/3 (elite) and 2) an ability where when the 1st Stormtrooper of a group is defeated, that figure is worth 1VP. However, what I didn't realize with #2 is that I was basically enabling that same point denial when you have 3 or more Stormtrooper groups.

I think we can find a way to bring 3-figure Trooper deployments back to the game without enabling things like the Carolina Swarm (Vader + 4 rRiots, and the Riots deny kill VPs and collect objective VPs). It'll take some work to ensure we're not repeating the swarm mistakes of the past. I really like DT'S idea where, in Skirmish, you can have a maximum of 2 regular non-Unique deployments of the same name. That shuts down things like Ugnaught Swarm and gives a bit of design breathing room for improving things like regular Probe Droids, Stormtroopers, E-Web Engineers, etc.

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2 hours ago, cnemmick said:

@KReyloBen I really like your damage floor solution! That's a very nice way to enable regular Stormtroopers to at least do something vs. Queen pieces.

I do disagree about bringing back "Hide a Trooper" points denial back into the game. I never played during that competitive meta, but the people who did told me horror stories. Additionally, one of my solutions for Stormies that I was championing lately was 1) reducing costs of Stormies down to 5/2 (regular) and 7/3 (elite) and 2) an ability where when the 1st Stormtrooper of a group is defeated, that figure is worth 1VP. However, what I didn't realize with #2 is that I was basically enabling that same point denial when you have 3 or more Stormtrooper groups.

I think we can find a way to bring 3-figure Trooper deployments back to the game without enabling things like the Carolina Swarm (Vader + 4 rRiots, and the Riots deny kill VPs and collect objective VPs). It'll take some work to ensure we're not repeating the swarm mistakes of the past. I really like DT'S idea where, in Skirmish, you can have a maximum of 2 regular non-Unique deployments of the same name. That shuts down things like Ugnaught Swarm and gives a bit of design breathing room for improving things like regular Probe Droids, Stormtroopers, E-Web Engineers, etc.

I am glad that you like the damage floor idea.

Recosting seems to be a great way to fix Stormtroopers. It kind of contrasts with my fix proposal that is focused on the qualities that made Stormtroopers a meta in the past.

I appreciate your comments on "Hide a Trooper" tactic. But let me elaborate.  I believe that Reinforcement have made troopers great aside from being very thematic. However, it is too risky to play with our current rules. It has worked before because Reinforcements worked at an abysmal advantage using the previous VP rules. I kind of want Reinforcement back and the solution seems to lie in partial VP denial (instead of the very punishing complete VP denial). Denied points can still be scored when the deployment group is defeated. I do admit that scoring 2VPs after defeating 2 eST's is still too punishing. Also, I chose it as an elite attachment so one would be limited to two copies per list.

Thank you for bringing up swarms. That's something that should be considered in making fixes.

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@KReyloBen I agree with you about wanting to bring the Reinforcements CCs back into viable play. One thing I'd like to test is giving a Trooper unit that's been brought back to the board a power token or a Beneficial condition... or shares power tokens across figures in its group. I don't know the right combo and I don't know if it should be shared with Troopers other than Stormies. But it would be interesting to see if that is too much power creep.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, cnemmick said:

I really like DT'S idea where, in Skirmish, you can have a maximum of 2 regular non-Unique deployments of the same name.

So regulars have the same limitation as elite? Please, no. We see few enough regular units as it is, and a large number of cheap troops should be a perfectly viable tactic (they're Stormtroopers, for goodness sake - it's Star Wars!).

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Trouble is, "viable" means neither (a) 12 rSTs attacking 12 times and doing no damage at all because their attack is rubbish and defences have got too strong, nor (b) you're playing against 12 rSTs, you kill 8 of them and still haven't scored any VPs yet (plus 3 more have come back from Reinforcements), nor (c) any other extreme that makes them either rubbish or unbeatable. It's tricky to get right, no doubt about it, given that they might easily outnumber other armies by 2 or 3 to 1; but they're a classic archetype fundamental to the setting, so we should endeavour to enable it, not give up and say "nah, just don't let people do it".

On the damage floor suggestion: I like the thinking, but not sure how well it would work in practice. Those 12 STs are now guaranteed to do 12 damage (OK, 6 because you've made it an Elite card, but again that sets a hard cap on 6 STs being all that's worth taking) - that's enormously reliable undefendable damage, albeit that you've had to spend 12 or 24 Deployment points to get it, as well as getting all the figures in position to do it. Changing to strain instead of damage would both better reflect what's happening thematically (lots of shots forcing the target to duck and cover), and give the defender the choice of taking it as damage or a burned Command card, which means they've still got some kind of value out of the Extra Armor they paid for (or whatever other defensive measures they took).

Also, while Stormtroopers are the most iconic trooper unit and the most deserving of fixing, Rebel Troopers and others need something too; so Empire-only suggestions are a starting point, and possibly the best place to start, but not the whole story.

Edited by Bitterman

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@Bitterman tons of cheap troops haven't been a viable strategy since the VPs-per-figure rule was implemented. And while I'd like for Skirmish to resemble that iconic frame from the movie, I also feel it is important for Skirmish to stay playable in that 65-75 minute range. So keeping an army's total figure count to under 20 should be important.

Also, if the regular Deployments are limited to 2, then having a damage floor effect for them can be considered. Now there's 6 units that can do 6 DMG, and the opponent can assess whether to take them out first or not. We can also consider different tweaks.

What I would like to see in the future is that owners of just a Core Box bring a list to a casual event and not just get beaten 40-0 by lists made with figures designed post-Jabba's Realm. I've been the opponent when a new player attacks my Sabine with a full deployment of rStormies... and Sabine takes a total of 1 DMG from 3 attacks. To make an Imperial list from the Core Set better, improving rStormies would help. And if there was a rule limiting regular deployments to 2, then we have that design space to do so.

(Don't get me started about E-Web Engineers. Ugggggghhhhh!)

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So the community update lowered the cost of rSTs down to 3 and I love it.  At that price point they actually add value to a list, even one that isn't trooper specific.

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