Jump to content
pickirk01

Pilot Initiative: Is there a better way?

Recommended Posts

8 minutes ago, SavouryRain said:

If they recost everything to be more in line with Republic, then the jump to I4 will be important, because there will be a lot more I4s and under

I hope so! I‚Äôm already running a personal I4 meta, so I look forward to being ahead of the curve ūüėÄ

Bariss is still overpriced compared to the Knight and Luminara though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

note that "Republic pricing" is mostly just the ARC, and I guess also the Delta config Aethersprite. They have their duds, but FAR less than normal

the torrent's price scaling (which is the same as the ARC's atm) kinda feels like a HUGE mistake because the abilities are jank (except oddball and...oddball) and the chassis is SIGNIFICANTLY worse

gotta take Initiative, quality of pilot ability, and quality of ship (especially how it scales at higher I: better re-positioning --> should cost more)  into account when pricing 

Edited by ficklegreendice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to think alternating activations for opposing ships of eaqual PS was the answer. But found it fiddly. Then someone suggested alternating the first person token and it works well for me. On one turn you move last but then your opponent’s ships of eaqual skill move last on the next turn. It becomes tense quickly.  As for Wedge being cheap, yeah he is PS 6 and his ability is great but two green dice, no evade, and only a BR means he isn’t too hard to kill. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I4 and above should pay a premium for being, "elite," with the exception of ships that cannot reposition. In fact, the dial, reposition potential, and initiative should all be tied together in pricing pilots.

 

I think most generics are in a good place and the game would be a lot more fun with 1-3 named pilots accompanied by 2-4 generics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few friends and I have discussed that FFG missed a big opportunity on the change to 2.0 not implementing an attack system similar to Armada. You have Red, Blue and Black attack die representing Laser, ion and Ordnance attack. Something like Proton torps could add 1-2 black die to your attack pool. TIE Defenders would have red and blue die for example representing their ion cannons. Blue and black might be only range 1-2. 

I thought there was a lost opportunity by limiting ships to just attack and defense die. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternating activation of units in a round can be exploited hard. If one person has only one to very few ships (say already lost ships), and the other has a lot fodder units, the one with the many units can force the one with few units to move his (now) expensive first at the key events, and then act after with his (maybe cheap) units with full knowledge. Fast downhill for the loosing side. That was one main tactic in e.g. Man o War.

5 hours ago, BenDay said:

I used to think alternating activations for opposing ships of eaqual PS was the answer. But found it fiddly. Then someone suggested alternating the first person token and it works well for me. On one turn you move last but then your opponent’s ships of eaqual skill move last on the next turn. It becomes tense quickly.  

This has been suggested before. I'd say it is even more fiddly, as it adds one whole dimension more to take into account (e.g. in calculating ranges, blocking windows and having TL windows in possible engagements at maybe-there-but-instead-maybe-but-if...-places 3 turns ahead). Extended and much more difficult decision trees, even more games going to time. Also gameplay this complicated is impractical for homeplay (x-wing is not just a hardcore tournament game, but also for kitchen tables and children/teens), Epic size battles, and after 7 tourney games with this mode your brain probably is hemorrhaging.

 

4 hours ago, svelok said:

Gaslands gear system is super dank, although produces a very different experience from double-blind dials.

Oh yeah, Gaslands is fun. But quite different system, although you can "block" there as well, or use cheap buggys to ram, so the rammed is occupied and cannot shoot your most important piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have thought about the idea of having a separate action phase, but the biggest problem with that is that arc rotations become much easier, as you have near-perfect information where your opponents will be (barring repositions).  I like the idea of blocker and blockee not getting to take actions, but the rotating arc problem gets us almost back to the days of 360-turrets.  Well, maybe not that bad if you're forcing an enemy ship to rotate arc so it can shoot at you, instead of focusing/TL, but still...

To give low-init ordance carriers a leg up I always thought that you should be able to target lock any ship on the board, but during the system phase you must discard any locks that are further than range 3 from your ship.  This would allow low-init guys to lock an enemy ship they predict will be within range come firing time.  If they are wrong, they lose their lock.  If they are right, they get the benefit.

---
To address similar issues, I experimented with an alternative movement system that went like this:

At the start of each Activation Phase, the player with fewest ships on the mat gets the Initiative Token.  They can choose whether to go first or second.  Person who goes first activates a ship of his choice, then the other player does, then back to the first player, etc.  Once one player runs out of ships, the other player finishes up the rest of his activations.  Pilot Skill/Initiative only matters for shooting.

Of course this kind of system has a ton of ramifications.  When you choose to activate your ships, and in what order, matters tremendously.  Do you wait to activate a ship until after your opponent moves some of theirs?  You'll have better information when you take your actions, but you might get blocked if you wait too long (or at all).  Do you activate a ship earlier than you'd normally like so you can make sure you AREN'T blocked, knowing you could be arc dodged?  Really the biggest issue that could come from this change is analysis paralysis.  It also gives a big advantage to squads with more ships (because you get to move more of your ships after your opponent has moved all of their ships) but the player with initiative can also guarantee that one of their ships can't be blocked (because they can choose to move first).  I tried to exploit this in a few games with 5 ships vs 2, and the advantage the 2 ships had of always going first if they wanted to was enough of an advantage that they did ok.

It was a fun mental experiment that worked brilliantly the few times I tried it, but the game was very, very different.

Edited by MikeEvans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You've also got the forthcoming Passive Sensors - yes, it's platform-specific (because it requires a systems slot) but it offers low initiative ordnance carriers who can equip it pretty much a 'free pass' as far as the need to acquire target locks is concerned.

13 hours ago, BenDay said:

I used to think alternating activations for opposing ships of eaqual PS was the answer. But found it fiddly. Then someone suggested alternating the first person token and it works well for me. On one turn you move last but then your opponent’s ships of eaqual skill move last on the next turn. It becomes tense quickly.  As for Wedge being cheap, yeah he is PS 6 and his ability is great but two green dice, no evade, and only a BR means he isn’t too hard to kill. 

If it wasn't me, then I've had similar conversations on here.

I'm very much in favour.

The First Player token swapping as the last action in the end phase becoming a thing opens up a lot of possibilities:

  • Firstly it means I6 pilots facing their peers¬†live and die by timing your engage/evade choices to turns when you control initiative (a gameplay decision) rather than initiative bid (a list-building decision).
  • Secondly it means the First Player token actually matters - in much the same way placing your revealed manoeuvre dial on the pilot card will matter once the N-1 comes out and there are game effects which actually reference it.
  • Thirdly that opens up the potential design space for pilots and upgrades which either control whether you have the First Player token or not (before this pilot activates, spend 24?cb=20180905025542¬†to take the First Player token from your opponent) or which react differently according to the current holder of that token (When attacking, if you are currently the First Player, roll 1 additional attack die)

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current system seems best, for ease and quickness of use. 

 

We could use a Dungeon&Dragins system:  Everyone rolls a D6 dice and then adds their skill/initiative to it plus stress plus range plus flanking plus other stuff. Be the most accurate but really slow the game down.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Swedge said:

personally i think they should have "stratified" the PS a bit more... Make it on a scale of 15 to 1.. as it is now we have waaaay too many same skill pilots..

The problem is then that we go back to the ‚Äėpilot skill‚Äô¬†race of 1.0... it was condensed down to the current 1-6 range because being more stratified, combined with the greater action efficiency of 1.0,¬†made having a high PS more of an advantage.

In fact, they could probably have condensed it further down to 4 levels - something along the lines of;

Novice - generics with no EPT

Pilot - generics with an EPT

Veteran - named pilots (current i5 and below)

Ace - named pilots (current i6, maybe with certain select i5s included)

 

There are also things that could be done to incentivise using generics. For example, you could remove the EPT slot from all named pilots (their unique ability should be their EPT), but including a named pilot in a squad with generics of the same ship type could allow all ships of that type to equip an EPT as long as they all use the same one... kind of like a squadron-wide ability gained from flying with a leader.

Edited by DexterOnone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Swedge said:

personally i think they should have "stratified" the PS a bit more... Make it on a scale of 15 to 1.. as it is now we have waaaay too many same skill pilots..

@DexterOnone made the same point I would have.  In 1.0, most of the PS below 9 or 8 were just completely ignored after a while.  The 2.0 system is waaaaay better.  Although it can still be Ace-Wing, it doesn't have to be.  There's a lot more room for variety and a much better chance of every ship engaging at least once.

9 hours ago, Archangelspiv said:

A few friends and I have discussed that FFG missed a big opportunity on the change to 2.0 not implementing an attack system similar to Armada. You have Red, Blue and Black attack die representing Laser, ion and Ordnance attack. Something like Proton torps could add 1-2 black die to your attack pool. TIE Defenders would have red and blue die for example representing their ion cannons. Blue and black might be only range 1-2. 

I thought there was a lost opportunity by limiting ships to just attack and defense die. 

This would complicate the game unnecessarily.  It works for larger games like Armada, where players want to invest two or three hours and can consider tactics more carefully, but X-Wing is not a good game for which to use this model, for a number of reasons.  Just off the top of my head:

1) New players would find it even more difficult to learn than X-Wing currently is, and may simply walk away because of it.  The attention span just isn't there, and even less so in competitive play.  For example, I've got a friend just learning to play, and he's picked up the basics after just one game.  Layers of complexity as you describe would make it more difficult to teach the game, and to learn it, especially when a more enfranchised player, who takes so much of the system for granted, tries to instruct a player who has no idea about how these types of tactical combat games work.

2) It would necessitate multiple changes to the basic nature of X-Wing ships, particularly in defense, shields, and hull.  Attacks would only be one side of the coin.  How, for example, would you record damage from an ion weapon as opposed to a laser?  To me, this type of dice technology needs a more robust tactical environment than X-Wing provides.

Edited by feltipern1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, MikeEvans said:

To address similar issues, I experimented with an alternative movement system that went like this:

At the start of each Activation Phase, the player with fewest ships on the mat gets the Initiative Token.  They can choose whether to go first or second.  Person who goes first activates a ship of his choice, then the other player does, then back to the first player, etc.  Once one player runs out of ships, the other player finishes up the rest of his activations.  Pilot Skill/Initiative only matters for shooting.

I feel that if you're going to do alternating activations, there needs to be a rule that says something like: "Before you would activate a ship, if your opponent has at least twice as many unactivated ships as you, you may pass instead."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally wouldn't touch the movement aspect of xwing miniatures 

It is BY FAR my favorite part of this game and what keeps me coming back to it. It's why I raged constantly at 360 turrets of last Ed, because they severely cut down on the importance of the most fun mechanic

It is also the only part I'd consider superior to Armada (excluding stuff like 3" by 3" space requirement being FAR more conducive to find actual ****** tablespace)

The only annoying bit left imo is initiative killing kinda making lower I suffer even after they catch a dodger in arc. Mind you, this isn't anywhere NEAR the problem it used to be, it's just a little annoying

Which is why I'd only bother with alternating activation during the engagement phase specifically (and independent of initiative, so a 104th could should before soontir if he was first player)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It's all in the costs, 100%

Moving last and shooting first is a significant-to-massive privilege, depending partly on the chassis. Currently I5 and especially I6 pilots don't pay nearly enough for their initiative, and I2 and I3 pilots pay far too much for theirs. I1 and I4 are in a pretty good spot. Of course there are exceptions. Let's take a few examples:

Soontir should be substantially more expensive. At I6 with always perfect-information double-reposition and a nearly-passive mod (2 with predator), he's an extremely good value at 52 points and should cost about 58-60. Meanwhile, the Alpha Squadron pilot is a bit too expensive at 34. Even a 6-Alpha swarm couldn't nearly stand up to something like 5 cartel marauders, because first you get 2 of them Initiative-killed, and then you're still moving first for the full game, so your double-reposition does nothing for you, and trusting your 3 green dice is always a trap, even with 1 evade token.

On the other hand, what's the difference between an I1 partisan renegade and an I3 Magva Yarro? Well, there's her ability and her chance to take a talent on the upside. But on the other hand, at I3 she'll be blocked an awful lot and miss out on many actions that the partisan renegade never would, but she would see no benefit as the ship has no reposition and no way to get reposition (except cloaking device which is max twice per game and very marginal in its use, and overpriced). Coordinating at I3 might make a difference for an X-Wing or A-Wing wingmate, but it's fairly marginal over an I1 coordinate as it will likely be before any dodging needs to happen anyway. Think about Wulfwarro. Sure, his ability is awesome, but should his I4 really factor into his cost? He's far more likely to be bumped as a result than to Initiative-kill somebody, at least in my experience. This goes double for Moralo Eval or Bossk. Without reposition, higher initiative is a bit of a wash between lost actions and initiative kills, at least without coordinate.

Ceteris Paribus, ships without reposition should be cheaper at I3 than at I1, or at least comparable. Talent slot and unique abilities contribute which is why we see the price increase but I think it's about double or triple what it should be (excepting the likes of Cassian who have godlike abilities).

Now when you take it to I4, that's where things begin to change. With nearly all generics and even some named pilots at or below I4, this is the first place where moving last against at least something in the other list becomes fairly dependable, at least with a bid. Of course, the downside is that currently on most chassis, you can get an I5 for a marginally higher price (often with a much better ability), and have a virtual guarantee that you'll be moving last and shooting first against most things. I6 is a similar story.

I feel like on an average chassis (something like a Kihraxz or X-Wing for example), the rule of thumb should be that you can only get 2 I6, 3 I5, or 4 I4. Generics should almost fit 5 or 4 well-loaded and price shouldn't change that much based on initiative below I4.

With something more dodgy like a Starviper or T-70, you should probably barely fit 2 I6 naked, 2 I5s with some upgrades, 3 I4s decently loaded, and 4 fully-loaded generics. The goal with everything is that if you can't out-ace it, you can beat it with enough arcs or red dice. It's currently true of I4 and I1, but the I5-6 is too cheap and I2-I3 is way too expensive.

For my part, I kind of expect that the next points adjustment will shake a lot of things up. I'm guessing 6x Alpha Squadron will be allowed (maybe 5 Sabers will even get crack shot or predator, not sure). I'm guessing Howl + 7 academies will fit, and I'm guessing lists like Vader-Soontir-Whisper will no longer be possible at all. If the devs have done their job, we'll probably see more swarms and also see more I4s getting used like real aces (hello Jake Farrell!). We might see swarms/spams of unexpected things like generic Starvipers. Supernatural Reflexes will be able to come down a little bit, and we'll probably see more bids for I4 than for I5-I6 because paying for higher initiative is much more guaranteed than paying for a bid. A bid at I6 will probably be quite rare and usually unnecessary.

But maybe that's just wishful thinking. I've been wanting it like this since before Wave I costs were released anyway.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...