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tobbby1

Possible future changes to the game?

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Hi all,

 

New owner of IA here so please direct me to the correct thread if this has already been discussed. I recently bought IA when I realized that you could now play coop with the app.

 

I have read some speculations of a 2nd ed. coming. Being new to the game with little playing experience I wonder what your thoughts is regarding the game based on your experience. Personally, I think that the system is great and I get the feeling that the community is feeling the same except on balance of competitive skirmish. I do not see the need of any bigger updates that is not possible to manage with some new cards. What do you think? Experience from Descent going to 2nd ed?

 

Best regrards

/T

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I really doubt there will be a second edition of this game. Producers have tapered off creating too much content for the last 2 years or so for this version.

I figure IA is nearing completion and if FFG should make anything in a similar vein- it'll be a new version of IA featuring either the prequel or newest trilogies. (obviously with a different name)

IA is an amazing and worthy game to keep on a shelf, yet, the old girl is nearing her end. It happens to us all. Grab what you can while you can, cause some IA products are harder to find than others.

I had trouble finding Boba for a long time and scalpers wanted x3 what he cost in a store. Finally found him for $18 but sadly IA blisters are overpriced anyways.

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Outside of a ton of eratta, I think there are a few big changes a 2nd ed could see.

 

The LoS mechanic is kind of strange, and if Doom (released after IA) is anything to go by, FFG might not be in love with it.

 

Then there's the hero would mechanic.  Descent's answer isn't any better in my opinion, but player elimination is never fun (and frankly that discourages me from fully killing of my rebels, which tactically works against me).

 

Stuff like movement, too, make the game a little too much "run" and too little "gun".  IMHO, Descent handles this a lot better.

 

Not to plug myself again, but since it's relevant, I wrote an article a while back on other advantages of having a 2.ed.

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It's a great game. There is definitely room for some improvements to be made in a hypothetical second edition, and skirmish could use some work (though it'd be significantly improved just by banning one card)... but I don't see much appetite for it, from FFG nor the customer base (I've bought at least one of everything, would I have to buy it all again, or...?).

Play it, enjoy it, love it. If any more products are released, or even a whole new edition, I doubt it will get any less good... but I also doubt it will happen.

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My "list" contains very minor things that would make the abilities clearer and interactions as intended.

- Using "at the end of an attack" trigger for quite a lot of abilities.
- Minor wording changes (e.g. focused not "on declare" but "while attacking").
- More granularity to threat level and deployment / figure costs even when needing to handle larger numbers.
- The biggest is probably rewriting the blocking terrain rules.

 

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, a1bert said:

- More granularity to threat level and deployment / figure costs even when needing to handle larger numbers.

Agreed. The two most basic figures in the game - rStormtrooper and rOfficer - are both 2 points, but I'm not convinced they're of equal value. Make either cheaper, and you get too many in a game and it gets too slow. Make either too expensive, and other figures must also go up in price and you can't fit enough in 40 points to be worth playing.

I'd like to see 100 point lists (a nice round number; why is it 40 anyway?) with figures priced accordingly. It just gives more resolution and more scope for balance. Makes lists a bit trickier to work out as 100 points is too much to do in your head, but *cough* there's ways to solve that *cough*.

52 minutes ago, a1bert said:

- The biggest is probably rewriting the blocking terrain rules.

Terrain and LOS between them, yeah. It's so nearly elegant, but still got some things that aren't quite right, and after six or seven campaigns (however many it's been), I'm still the only one in our gaming group who's got it sussed... all the Hero players end up asking me "if I were in that square, can I attack that guy?" all the time, because it's non-obvious to them. Still happens sometimes in tournaments too.

But if we're new-edition-wishlisting anyway, I'd add a few more, mostly pretty minor:

  • Reorganise traits on Deployment/Command cards. Just needs a rethink.
  • (Yet) another game mode - "legendary battles" - scenes from the movies with fixed forces and objectives. Can you help the crew of the Millennium Falcon escape Mos Eisley before the Empire closes in? That kind of thing.
  • Better campaign tracking tools and get rid of Story Mission cards ("epilogues" are better, though shouldn't be separate from the mission).
  • Explore ways to stop campaigns snowballing, without making any mission pointless (as "give the reward anyway" does).
  • Explore better ways for Allies / Villains to work in campaign. I think ToL might have found a better way to do this, but I've not tried it yet.
  • Grey and brown dice. I don't know what they'd do (black/white as defense dice work just fine) but Descent has them and I have dice envy.
  • More/different conditions. Stuff like Burning.
  • Deployment card limits on the card itself (like with Command cards), rather than implied by Regular or Elite (though r/e can still exist as a concept).
  • Character bios to add a sprinkle of RP that's currently only implicit in side mission briefings.

I think that's it? It's not like any of that stops the current edition from being a great game, though.

Edited by Bitterman

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Thanks all for your input, since I will mainly play coop/solo my hopes will be for some campaigns to follow in the app. I would have no problem paying for it like in MoM as long as they keep on with the support. Possibly some pdf downloadable campaigns would be great to. The community seems great, planning to go with the RAIV and Imperial Directive after the official app, those variants  convinced me making it worth to invest in the game. Even thinking of trying to start painting again.

 

@King_Balrog, working hard here to find all the stuff, as a start the boxes and the classic characters.

 

@Subtrendy2, no problem with run and gun (use them before you lose them), just as the movies :) Great article by the way.

 

@Bitterman, share your dice envy :) Happy that the new LotR don’t uses dices, makes it easier to avoid. MoM got me looking into IA since I am not fully impressed by the combat of that game, to simplified by the app.

 

 

 

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If you are a campaign only player who is happy with the game as is, then whether or not the game gets a new edition has literally no effect on you does it? A new edition doesn’t make the game you own unplayable, and the app isn’t an online game that requires continuous support to play the way an online multiplayer game does.

FFG has said at Star Wars celebration that they have more digital coop content coming out, so if that’s all you’re interested in then you will be good.

Honestly I’m a bit jealous because you are actually really the only type of IA player that FFG seems to care about or even think about anymore.

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1 hour ago, Tvboy said:

Honestly I’m a bit jealous because you are actually really the only type of IA player that FFG seems to care about or even think about anymore.

I feel for Skirmish players, I really do.

It has always seemed as an afterthought, tacked on to an excellent game.

The fact that Skirmish has done as well as it has is entirely down to the player base. FFG appears to have given zero Effs about it since inception...

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Posted (edited)

If we break down this game it's bad in many ways.

Campaign:

- Plot isn't strong

- Allies (that in the end are characters from the saga and should help creating strong plots) are never a good choice and anyway don't add anything to the plot itself

- Lack of strong RPG elements/decisions (app partially introduced something)

- Snowballing

- Alpha gaming

- Overthinking and time wasted by rebels arguing on what you can do, what I can do, what he can do, what should we do, I don't know what to do...

- Incredible mess of rules, wording and overcomplicated caveats that we really don't need

Skirmish:

- Power-creeping across expansions

- Lack of a self-adjustment mechanism (only FAQs can save the game)

- Incredible mess of rules, wording and overcomplicated caveats that we really don't need

That's what I would focus on if I had to design 2nd edition

Edited by Trevize84

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1 hour ago, Trevize84 said:

- Overthinking and time wasted by rebels arguing on what you can do, what I can do, what he can do, what should we do, I don't know what to do...

Of the things you list, this one (possibly also "Alpha gaming"?) really has nothing at all to do with the game itself.

If there are no conversations about what to do, it's because there's an obvious best solution, so there are no meaningful choices to make, and the whole experience will get very boring very quickly... just rolling dice so see what happens.

So there have to be such conversations... and there can be no rule about how many conversations there can be or how long they can last. The point at which it becomes "overthinking" or "time wasted" isn't something the game rules can adjudicate on. Can you imagine FFG printing a rule like, "no conversation can take more than 30 seconds"? Madness.

You clearly want more RP in your IA (it's not an RPG, intentionally so, but it does have some RP elements) and it sounds like your Imperial player needs to act a little bit more like an RPG's GM. "OK guys, you've talked over the options but now you're going round in circles. It's time to make a decision. What are you going to do? Decide now." I say things like that all the time. Takes a basic understanding of group dynamics, but sometimes has to be done. I can't imagine what rule would appear in IA2E to magically make it go away though.

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The rules actually say that if the rebels can't make a decision, the imperial player chooses a rebel player to make the decision.

A lot of the concerns (like usability of allies and snowballing) have been addressed already through campaign structure in new expansions, and rules changes that apply to previous campaigns as well.

I chuck the others in the opinions category. It's okay if the game is not for your group.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, a1bert said:

The rules actually say that if the rebels can't make a decision, the imperial player chooses a rebel player to make the decision.

A lot of the concerns (like usability of allies and snowballing) have been addressed already through campaign structure in new expansions, and rules changes that apply to previous campaigns as well.

I chuck the others in the opinions category. It's okay if the game is not for your group.

Yes I know how allies have been fixed recently. I think they're still not worthy, unless low on price (say Hera). Also in ToL missions forces rebel to choose a spectre which is a solution that pisses off people so much, that we waste at least 5 minutes every setup because people complains with imperial...

Also about the imperial choosing a rebel, the rule doesn't mention a time frame for this. Officially they're "still taking the decision", so they're fully able to take it, so the rule doesn't apply. That rule stated that way is useless.

1 hour ago, Bitterman said:

Of the things you list, this one (possibly also "Alpha gaming"?) really has nothing at all to do with the game itself.

If there are no conversations about what to do, it's because there's an obvious best solution, so there are no meaningful choices to make, and the whole experience will get very boring very quickly... just rolling dice so see what happens.

So there have to be such conversations... and there can be no rule about how many conversations there can be or how long they can last. The point at which it becomes "overthinking" or "time wasted" isn't something the game rules can adjudicate on. Can you imagine FFG printing a rule like, "no conversation can take more than 30 seconds"? Madness.

You clearly want more RP in your IA (it's not an RPG, intentionally so, but it does have some RP elements) and it sounds like your Imperial player needs to act a little bit more like an RPG's GM. "OK guys, you've talked over the options but now you're going round in circles. It's time to make a decision. What are you going to do? Decide now." I say things like that all the time. Takes a basic understanding of group dynamics, but sometimes has to be done. I can't imagine what rule would appear in IA2E to magically make it go away though.

Alpha-gaming is due to 2 factors: first factor is bad-habit or if you want innate nature of human-beings in having someone leading a group, second is game design that opens to such attitude. Rebels are playing a fully cooperative game and we all know all the issues of fully cooperative games. We need a mechanism that still allows the owner of a hero to be the guy who mainly lead the initiative of its own hero. Too often we end up with rebel players sharing heroes, ownership shows up only when spending XP and items.

Overthinking and time wasted is a side effect of the previous point, they discuss a lot to evaluate all possible solutions giving up the ownership of their hero and wasting time in evaluating pointless ideas, most of the times this makes them losing focus on objectives and making wrong choices without even realizing it.

Edited by Trevize84

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2 minutes ago, Trevize84 said:

[...] we waste at least 5 minutes every setup because people complains with imperial...

first factor is bad-habit or if you want innate nature of human-beings in having someone leading a group, second is game design that opens to such attitude.[...] We need a mechanism that still allows the owner of a hero to be the guy who mainly lead the initiative of its own hero. Too often we end up with rebel players sharing heroes [...]

Overthinking and time wasted is a side effect of the previous point, they discuss a lot to evaluate all possible solutions giving up the ownership of their hero and wasting time in evaluating pointless ideas, most of the times this makes them losing focus on objectives and making wrong choices without even realizing it.

Honestly, that group sounds like no fun at all. Not sure what the rules can do to fix a group being too argumentative to have fun.

I didn't understand what you meant by "Alpha gaming" before, but now I think I do - you mean one (or more) players "taking over" and telling the other players what to do and how to handle their characters? Wouldn't happen at my table, that's for sure. I'd slap that down the very first time it happened in such a way that it would never happen again. What do you want the rules to say to prevent this? "Each player controls their own hero"? The rules already say that, or words to that effect. You think that even with that, all cooperative games inevitably end up that way? I think your group needs to be playing a non-cooperative game, then; IA probably isn't for them. Please don't ask to ruin the best part of IA - cooperative 4v1 gameplay - to fix your group's inability to work together.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Bitterman said:

Honestly, that group sounds like no fun at all. Not sure what the rules can do to fix a group being too argumentative to have fun.

I didn't understand what you meant by "Alpha gaming" before, but now I think I do - you mean one (or more) players "taking over" and telling the other players what to do and how to handle their characters? Wouldn't happen at my table, that's for sure. I'd slap that down the very first time it happened in such a way that it would never happen again. What do you want the rules to say to prevent this? "Each player controls their own hero"? The rules already say that, or words to that effect. You think that even with that, all cooperative games inevitably end up that way? I think your group needs to be playing a non-cooperative game, then; IA probably isn't for them. Please don't ask to ruin the best part of IA - cooperative 4v1 gameplay - to fix your group's inability to work together.

My group is quite able to work together, most of the times this behavior comes up because some players are new and some others are very experienced. It ends up in newbies to follow a de-facto leader. The leader itself isn't acting as a leader. The guy is playing like anyone else, he's just more experienced and statistically his proposals are much better than the others. This biases decisional process of newbie players and they end up following the experienced player even when he/she is wrong. This is still alpha-gaming.

See Alpha gaming isn't a bad attitude itself. It's not a bad thing either in my opinion. Actually alpha-individuals are probably the top tier of our race as they can distinguish themselves from the masses because of their ability in something. You don't want the system to exclude them, you want the system to find the right spot for them. This is a design issue, this isn't ruling issue.

Some people have attitude to lead, others have attitude to help, others have attitude to don't follow lead and do their choice and so on and so forth. We need a system that find for all these stereotypes the right spot and allow them to create their hero playing their role and cooperating the best way they can. That means player mush hold the full ownership of his hero and the most important part is the decisional part during campaing. At the same time you want the game to be cooperative, but you don't want to make it fully cooperative otherwise you end up in all the design issues fully-cooperative games like Pandemic have.

I can't say what the right solution would be in terms of rules. On the other hands I wouldn't make this game an RPG like D&D either. In D&D you can't talk too long otherwise your turn ends. This should still be a strategic game after all. The only RPG elements I would bring are all those elements that are useful plot-wise to make the story strong. In example, ability to drop loot rather than only buying items, more interaction with NPCs to solve puzzles or get information about the objective, story forks during mission instead of triggered events, and so on. App is partially addressing this.

And yes, my personal honest opinion is that fully-cooperative games are all broken by design and the best fix is to make all cooperative interactions semi-cooperative.

Edited by Trevize84

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This is a difficult problem to solve for all co-operative games. My group tired of Pandemic after a few victories.  Flashpoint has had a lot more play, and IA vs the App seems to be the most fun out of all of them, but the problem still remains; if there's one less experienced player, or even just a less forceful/opinionated player, their ideas can be overlooked.

It's something I struggle with in the campaign. I want to let players make decisions for their character, but if I see a fellow Rebel about to make a poor move that might cost us the mission, how strongly do I intervene?  With my core mates who I've known for years it's easier to judge, but I've got another group of people I know less well, and I'm having to make an effort not to quarterback them.  Not sure how successfully either :P

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, udat said:

My group tired of Pandemic after a few victories.

Pandemic is the most known full-coop game. Everyone likes it and when I publicly say it's garbage I always get a lot of complaints. So I won't say Pandemic is garbage here...

Edited by Trevize84

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Posted (edited)

On Alpha gaming: it’s something each group has to deal with within itself.  I find I hard to blame the game.  There’s no one mechanic you can add to a game to prevent it.  I mean, in Gloomhaven it’s prevented by the games core mechanics; if you try to incorporate those rules, on some level, you’re making the same game.

3 hours ago, udat said:

I want to let players make decisions for their character, but if I see a fellow Rebel about to make a poor move that might cost us the mission, how strongly do I intervene?

Just say “hey, if you do that the IP might...” The only problem with that might be that you’re giving the IP a strategy they may have missed.  You don’t have to tell them what to do instead, just make sure they’re aware of the risk.

2 hours ago, Trevize84 said:

Pandemic is the most known full-coop game. Everyone likes it and when I publicly say it's garbage I always get a lot of complaints. So I won't say Pandemic is garbage here...

I see it as the Catan of co-op games. If someone wants to experience board games beyond Monopoly, Aggravation,  or Sorry then those are the two I suggest getting started with.

 I don’t want to play either of them, though.

Edited by Uninvited Guest

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Uninvited Guest said:

On Alpha gaming: it’s something each group has to deal with within itself.  I find I hard to blame the game.  There’s no one mechanic you can add to a game to prevent it.  I mean, in Gloomhaven it’s prevented by the games core mechanics; if you try to incorporate those rules, on some level, you’re making the same game.

I think alternatives are possible without copying Gloomhaven. The problem is during rebels turn. Among them, rebels play a fully-cooperative game. You just need to make it semi-cooperative. Solutions may vary, one simple solution that would also introduce some role playing is the following.

First of all you need a clear and evident distinction among heroes giving them a "Trait" like Skirmish, but it also has to affect hero's builds. Regardless of what traits are available, the "leader" trait is the only one who can help decisional process of other rebels in the game. This way you don't have a "many-to-many" type of communication between rebels. It would be 1-1 because only one leader can lead the group. Ruling can specify a way to select a leader based on adjacency/distance from other heroes of the party.

This would avoid alpha gaming and time wasted from "excessive" cooperation.

Edited by Trevize84

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27 minutes ago, Trevize84 said:

First of all you need a clear and evident distinction among heroes giving them a "Trait" like Skirmish, but it also has to affect hero's builds. Regardless of what traits are available, the "leader" trait is the only one who can help decisional process of other rebels in the game. This way you don't have a "many-to-many" type of communication between rebels. It would be 1-1 because only one leader can lead the group. Ruling can specify a way to select a leader based on adjacency/distance from other heroes of the party.

That suggestion removes everything our group enjoys about the game.

As a bonus you've made the "leader" feel more important than everyone else - exactly what an "Alpha gamer", as you call them, would want. You've made your own problem worse.

Please, let people who are actually capable of cooperating with one another play IA cooperatively. If your group aren't mature enough to handle discussions and making decisions as a group, without someone trying to take charge or everyone endless arguing about what's best, try a different game that doesn't involve cooperation. There are plenty of such games! Leave IA alone.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Bitterman said:

Please, let people who are actually capable of cooperating with one another play IA cooperatively. If your group aren't mature enough to handle discussions and making decisions as a group, without someone trying to take charge or everyone endless arguing about what's best, try a different game that doesn't involve cooperation. There are plenty of such games! Leave IA alone.

I'm saying my group is just fine. Problem is all the people that got this game spoiled because someone was dictating what to do. Those people left the game with the idea it's a bad game. I'm not saying my solution is THE solution, just saying you have 1 or 2 leaders around, you ask them advice. Which is like we all do in our life, we all ask advice to people we trust.

You can get leader by election, by trait, by merit or whatever mechanism you prefer.

Edited by Trevize84

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Trevize84 said:

I think alternatives are possible without copying Gloomhaven.

I hope it didn’t sound like that was my point, lol!

To your point though, the last two campaigns I played we had Gideon in the party.  In both cases the Gideon player (two separate people) elected to lead the discussion of Rebel tactics.  It’s not exactly the same thing, but it worked well.

Regardless, I stand by my point, which I think both you and @Bitterman can both be on the same page with.  Solutions to prevent alpha gaming are often unique to each group.  If the rules of the game don’t satisfy, then you’re free to make adjustments or even fully house rule it.

Edited by Uninvited Guest

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1 hour ago, Trevize84 said:

I'm saying my group is just fine. Problem is all the people that got this game spoiled because someone was dictating what to do. Those people left the game with the idea it's a bad game.

Sorry - who are those people, if they're not your group? 😕

I'm honestly confused by what you're talking about here. You're saying "our group can't cooperate", so I suggest "maybe the problem is your group rather than IA as a cooperative game", and you reply with "our group is just fine, it's this imaginary other group of people who may not even exist that I'm concerned about".

Who, exactly, do you think has "left the game with the idea that it's a bad game" because they were unable to cooperate? And why do you think rules that enable and empower alpha gamers to take charge is a solution to that problem?

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