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Boom Owl

What Does A Balanced 2 Ship List Look Like?

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Posted (edited)

Questions:

Examples of decent 2 ship lists past and present:

  • Possibly S-Tier 2 Ship Lists: 
    • Han+ 
    • Dash/Rorak
  • Average Power 2 Ship Lists:
    • Super Kylo+
    • Super Luke+ 
    • Super Guri+ 
    • Super Defender+
    • Super Jedi+
    • Token Stack Boba+
    • Maul/Dooku 

Typical Answers:

  • Two Ship lists are difficult and require Highly Skilled Players to use ( i.e. Patient and able to identify bad jousts )
  • Two Ship lists require 100+ pt Ships to be worth their cost ( i.e. They by definition are allowed to Break "Normal" Mechanics ) 
  • Two Ship lists depend on their movement being mostly Reactionary ( i.e. Super Aces & Kanan Inert Han choosing moves at i5+ during Activation ) 
  • Two Ship lists require at least one ship that can shoot twice with near full dice mods to keep up ( i.e. they most be "3 ship lists" ). 
  • Two Ship lists require damage outside of combat (Bombs, Damage Dealt while Defending )
  • Two Ship lists require enough HP and Defense or Regen to ignore 1 shot per combat round. ( i.e. Establish a HP Damage Race Countdown Clock ) 
  • Two Ship lists require a very specific rule interaction to be clarified in their favor by FFG ( Han Gunner, Kanan, etc. )

2 ships seems like an archetype a large portion of the player base prefers and wants to see succeed. 

What does a balanced 2 ship list look like? 

Edited by Boom Owl

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I would say a balanced 2 ship list is one that wins against 3 and 4 ship lists but loses to 5+ ship lists (holding player skill constant). It's tricky to maintain that balance since FFG seems to err on the side of caution in terms of overcosting generic spam swarms.

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Hm. This is a great discussion topic.

 I don’t have a huge preference on ship count, so I voted for eight since that’s what I’ve been enjoying lately (Vultures). I feel like the biggest reason I end up flying 2-ship lists is my love of the VCX and it’s awkward points zone for fitting two other fun/solid ships next to it.

I don’t think it’s necessary that two ship lists be viable, but if there are some ships that you can only properly play with one other ship fitting in the list, then that’s where I start to change my mind I guess.

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The most fun I’ve had recently in the game has been Maul/Dooku. I feel it is balanced due to the forward arc only requirement. It’s difficult to abuse ships like that. 

I have no idea how good it is. Lots of tricks, hate is so good on both. I think the issue is keeping both ships on target enough.

I’ve also had big problems with 5+ ship counts that simply overwhelm one of the Infiltrators so quickly. 

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I'd like to see what happens when/if the points held in reserve for a bid count as destroyed.

The mechanic I don't like about these sort of 2 ship lists is the 'kill a few points and run away' syndrome. They can afford to lose half-points or full points from the 'cheap' ship of the pair, as long as the remaining points plus the bid is more than the remaining opposition points. If the bid counts as 'destroyed', then they have to remain in the fight for longer, giving a better chance to the lower initiative, non-reactive lists.

The other factor that helps make them viable is slow play: fewer combat turns happen whilst the reactive player thinks and predicts movement. This is also a factor in large swarmy lists too. I don't have a solution for the swarms, but simply asking the reactive player to speed up does work - unless it's Phil GC who plays faster than is feasible already and needs to be asked to slow down for lesser mortals to have a clue!

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3 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

 

  • Two Ship lists require at least one ship that can shoot twice with near full dice mods to keep up ( i.e. they most be "3 ship lists" ). 
  • Two Ship lists require damage outside of combat (Bombs, Damage Dealt while Defending )
  • Two Ship lists require a very specific rule interaction to be clarified in their favor by FFG ( Han Gunner, Kanan, etc. )

 

While your other points seem spot on, I don't think these are necessary. They are a feature of a few prominent 2 ship lists but I don't think they are a requirement for the archetype.

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31 minutes ago, Gilarius said:

The mechanic I don't like about these sort of 2 ship lists is the 'kill a few points and run away' syndrome.

Pretty much all of them have a win condition which involves playing or running to time. The ones that dont do that are usually average at best unless some offensive mechanic like Dash/Rorak allows a High Init alpha strike that skips rounds.

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1 hour ago, Gilarius said:

I'd like to see what happens when/if the points held in reserve for a bid count as destroyed.

I would probably go for the middle ground and assign the points of the bid between the ships to increase their value. Could be done proportionally to the ships point cost or the same value per ship.

I have no idea, how to solve the slow play issue.

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I personally love two-ship lists. The level of advanced planning and thinking about dials is enjoyable to me. I almost think a 2 ship list flown well will, at certain points, take more time choosing dials than a swarm will. 

But yeah, I do think at least one or both of the ships need consistent and/or passive mods. Two ship lists are very, very variance dependant, and it feels really bad when you think you have out positioned someone consistently (you shoot they don't), but the dice just do not push damage through. So anything to mitigate variance is great. Hence Han is so good.

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I'm definitely not a two ship.list person, but when I do fly them I tend to do pretty well. Here's one I had good luck with and felt like there was a good balance:

TIE/D Defender - •Rexler Brath - 87
    •Rexler Brath - Onyx Leader (82)
        Juke (5)

VT-49 Decimator - •Captain Oicunn - 111
    •Captain Oicunn - Inspired Tactician (78)
        Intimidation (3)
        •Darth Vader (14)
        •0-0-0 (5)
        Proton Bombs (5)
        •Dauntless (4)
        •BT-1 (2)

Total: 198/200

View in the X-Wing Squad Builder

I definitely depends on the list you want to fly, but I prefer two big threats to something like a fat Han.

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On 4/20/2019 at 11:45 AM, Boom Owl said:

( i.e. They by definition are allowed to Break "Normal" Mechanics ) 
( i.e. Super Aces & Kanan Inert Han choosing moves at i5+ during Activation )
( i.e. they most be "3 ship lists" )
(Bombs, Damage Dealt while Defending )
( i.e. Establish a HP Damage Race Countdown Clock )
( Han Gunner, Kanan, etc. )

...and these are things people want in the game?!

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Posted (edited)

What does it look like?

1.0

 

 

Fine, I'll edit and add a real response:

I don't think 2 ship lists are healthy for tournament play. Bolded for effect. By nature, they are points fortresses, which kills all incentive to actually play the game. Han/Jake and Kylo Tavson (if this ever became good) sound absolutely miserable to play against. Enough of the 2 ship lists from 1.0 were insane gatekeepers as well.

So there isn't a "balanced" 2 ship list, and I think that's fine. 

Edited by Micanthropyre

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Curious question for people who voted yes: why?

For the other perspective: 2-ship, or even the inverse, 8-ship, don't seem like they  particularly need to be viable for the game to be healthy. On the contrary, it seems like every 2-ship build in the game's history that has ever floated to the top has done so as an extremely negative play experience. Which makes a kind of sense - if a 2-ship list is competing with 3/4/5 ship lists, it needs to be virtually immune to damage, or capable of avoiding arcs every turn, or hyper-modifying its dice, or possessing perfect information reposition and/or dial changing, or... etc etc, some combination of the above. In 2.0 we've had had Dash Roark, which speaks for itself; we had Boba/Guri, which used massive bids to leverage the dangerously powerful Starviper barrel roll as well as the Marauder/Han duo on Boba; etc. Some 2-ship builds are "alright", but to be truly competitive, it seems they have to cross a certain line.

With small base half points that's probably even more true than in first edition - the fact that catching Vader in arc one time, with just a bit of dice variance, can put you on the board - means that for a 2-ship build with Vader to be good, it has to be evasive enough to never once get caught in that arc. But on the other hand, we have viable aces without be limited to 2-ship builds. It doesn't seem to me like any ship is deprived of being viable without 2-ship lists being real. 

Or do people disagree?

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1 minute ago, Biophysical said:

My two Defender list (pre titles) was freaking awesome.  Almost never went to time and predicated on killing things faster than it took damage.  

I want to like Defenders, but I can never get them to work for me.  Every time I fly them, they die in fewer shots than ships with half so much health.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, svelok said:

Curious question for people who voted yes: why?

IMHO competitive doesn't need to mean dominant or broken. Just needs to be able to be flown with a decent chance of winning (40% - 60%) against other lists. 2 ship lists don't need broken mechanics to be able to do so. Broken mechanics only serve as a trigger for some players to get their heads out of their asses long enough to see that 2 ships builds are playable. Honestly I find it questionable if those who will only play broken lists are people we want to see at the table anyways.

Edited by Hiemfire

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