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Audacious balance: Should we try to balance generics out first? (now that the game has existed for a while)

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12 minutes ago, 5050Saint said:

I don't want lists like Quad Phantoms or Rebel Beef that can take all comers.

I certainly don't want lists that are too strong, but a decent list should at least stand a chance against anything.  I don't want to return to the days of just looking at the lists and then declaring a winner.

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18 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

I certainly don't want lists that are too strong, but a decent list should at least stand a chance against anything.  I don't want to return to the days of just looking at the lists and then declaring a winner.

Totally agree, but Ani + Ric + X is far from an autowin against 3 ARC and a Jedi which is what Blail Blerg was implying.

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Posted (edited)

I for one would love to see RZ1's and Interceptor come down.  The generics are overpriced and for the interceptors there is just no reason to take them over a striker.

It would be cool if they gave us generic i5 interceptors as royal guards.  Soontir, 2 guards and a shuttle should be a list.

Edited by AngryAlbatross

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I just came here because there is not nearly enough support in this thread for 6 Strikers!

I was so sure they were going to drop the Sentinel to 33 pts. when the Striker released in 2.0 that I went on eBay and bought an extra set of Striker conversions to get ready for all the 6xStriker joy.  And now, points update after points update, my poor Strikers are Sad...

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45 minutes ago, millertime059 said:

Having played enough with 5+bonus tie, I can say that 6x Strikers wouldn’t be busted as it is so very variance prone. But Interceptors need it far more. The extra health makes all the difference at I1.

Sadly ffg stated that their value truly was below 34 but that they wanted to avoid the 6 striker list. Similarly to how they nerfed rebel beef to aviid 4 strong 3 dice ships at init5. 

They suggested possibly looking to add limit 5 to the ship. 

 

What you should know is currently the i1 striker and int are overcosted and you shouldn’t be expecting it to be strong in mass. 

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1 hour ago, Blail Blerg said:

Sadly ffg stated that their value truly was below 34 but that they wanted to avoid the 6 striker list. Similarly to how they nerfed rebel beef to aviid 4 strong 3 dice ships at init5. 

They suggested possibly looking to add limit 5 to the ship. 

I watched the stream (hoping for 6x interceptors the full time) but I definitely didn't see them say this. Do you have a timestamp?

I think the whole "it's busted in numbers so we have to keep the cost up" is really a poor argument. Either it's worth its points or it's not. If it's just barely not then you can substitute something else in that is for the 6th one. The fact is that it's really not close. If you reduce it by the same amount and make it limited people will just bring in something else that's even stronger for the 6th ship. Alpha Squadron Interceptors should be around 32 points; what they gain over Scourge (3rd die in non-bullseye, better dial and actions), is more than made up for in initiative (the jump from one to five is surely worth more than a little).

Here's a case study: They just reduced the prices of the TIE/sf so that it is now possible to fly 6 in one list. But are people doing that? Not really; they're having more fun with Passive-Sensor-enabled missiles or cheap fanatical filler, with varying degrees of effectiveness. I expect we'd see the same from the interceptor. The 6-Interceptor swarm would be cool, but not actually good because it's far too variance-prone. But at the same time a 32-pt Interceptor would make an exceptionally shooty blocker or delightfully blocky shooter to slot in with two huge ships or 3 light aces.

It doesn't need to be limited to 5 because 6 interceptors would still lose to a Howl Swarm more often than not. Time has proven that spam lists aren't usually a good idea because they tend to be too hard-countered by something, unless they're just that underpriced like the Sigma/Juke Phantom was. For the same reason I'm skeptical of 6 Strikers. That 4th hull point makes a huge difference and they're much more consistent than the Interceptor. I think the I1 generic strikers are mostly fine, though of course the I3 needs justice for sure.

If they would just bite the bullet and let some of these ships cross the threshold (3 Resistance YTs, 6 Interceptors, etc.) the game would see quite a bit more variation in Initiative rather than the I2 beef vs I5 aces that have become ubiquitous since wave 2.

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Having played around 8 games now with 5 N1's, I thing the generics are a bit to expensive. Dont hit hard enough and with ordnance.droids and system slot they quickly become to expensive. I think the price could be dropped so that you could fly 6 generics in a swarm, without it being to powerfull at all. Ric and Anakin does all the work in my lists, and I am to purist to fly the ships together with other non Naboo ships, so can't say if there are powerfull combo builds to be made, but 6 generic N1 are not overpowered.

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3 minutes ago, Dwing said:

Having played around 8 games now with 5 N1's, I thing the generics are a bit to expensive. Dont hit hard enough and with ordnance.droids and system slot they quickly become to expensive. I think the price could be dropped so that you could fly 6 generics in a swarm, without it being to powerfull at all. Ric and Anakin does all the work in my lists, and I am to purist to fly the ships together with other non Naboo ships, so can't say if there are powerfull combo builds to be made, but 6 generic N1 are not overpowered.

Have you tried 4 with Passive Sensors and Proton Torpedoes? More isn't always better, especially more of the same.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Have you tried 4 with Passive Sensors and Proton Torpedoes? More isn't always better, especially more of the same.

Nope, but as the thread is about "fixing" generics, dropping the price down om the N1 so you can have 6, just means it could function both as a torp Carrier or swarm ship. It just have to go from 34 points to 33 to achive this. 

Edited by Dwing

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11 minutes ago, Dwing said:

Nope, but as the thread is about "fixing" generics, dropping the price down om the N1 so you can have 6, just means it could function both as a torp Carrier or swarm ship. It just have to go from 34 points to 33 to achive this. 

I mean... Sort of? The point is more with fixing generics that don't have any use. I think the generic N-1 is quite a good deal for what you get. There are definitely many, many generics that would like to be as cost-effective. The N-1 has some very strong things it can do very well at its price point.

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Wanted to pop in to say that speculating on generics plus upgrades is definitely wholly in the spirit of this thread. 

Ive lamented over and over that pure naked genetics are not evolutionary viable in a game where combo power creep is very likely because there wouldn’t be any way at list modifying stage of increasing the power. Even with point balancing some creep is natural  adding upgrades is good natural evolution  

also a natural evolution of all generics could go into ace plus generics. 

 

anyway it’d be nice to see generics costed well especially as a benchmark for future balancing. 

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The recent trend in this discussion has brought something into my head.

So 6 Alpha Interceptors isn't legal.  It's probably not a big deal, because 5+Wampa is like 95% the same, and that isn't a big deal.  But isn't also just bad list design?  Like, 6 N-1s, if it was legal, would also almost surely be a bad list, not because the N-1 is a bad ship, but because it'd be flat and one-note.  N-1 has particular ways it has to move to keep Full Throttle, and that'll be better suited to being *part* of a list rather than the *entire* list.

One trait of a lot of ace-based lists is that, in order to get high initiative pilots on all the ships, folks have to fly different kinds of ships.  These ships cover the gaps in each other's profiles, and represent tools enough for the whole thing to work.  Squads of mixes of stuff kinda seem to work better than single-thing squads.  Kylo Ren is great.  Triple Silencer?  Naw.

So Metawing right now.  Top 4 generics: 104th ARC (Typically two + two aces, or three + ace), Omega Expert TIE/sf (mostly spammed with Optics, but some 3x Kylo, and Zeta TIE/sfs will get tossed into mixed squads), Trade Federation Drone (lots of them in a list, but always with a Belbullab or a few Hyenas--never straight spam), and Gold Trooper Torrent (both 2 Torrent 2 Jedi and a mixed list like Sinker Swarm, which tosses in a Pocket Ace in Ric Olie these days).

So 5 Alphas + Wampa is bad.  We shouldn't care, and shouldn't use any spammed generic list as a sign of alarm for the overall health of a generic ship.  Just feels like folks are learning the wrong lessons.

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2 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

The recent trend in this discussion has brought something into my head.

So 6 Alpha Interceptors isn't legal.  It's probably not a big deal, because 5+Wampa is like 95% the same, and that isn't a big deal.  But isn't also just bad list design?  Like, 6 N-1s, if it was legal, would also almost surely be a bad list, not because the N-1 is a bad ship, but because it'd be flat and one-note.  N-1 has particular ways it has to move to keep Full Throttle, and that'll be better suited to being *part* of a list rather than the *entire* list.

One trait of a lot of ace-based lists is that, in order to get high initiative pilots on all the ships, folks have to fly different kinds of ships.  These ships cover the gaps in each other's profiles, and represent tools enough for the whole thing to work.  Squads of mixes of stuff kinda seem to work better than single-thing squads.  Kylo Ren is great.  Triple Silencer?  Naw.

So Metawing right now.  Top 4 generics: 104th ARC (Typically two + two aces, or three + ace), Omega Expert TIE/sf (mostly spammed with Optics, but some 3x Kylo, and Zeta TIE/sfs will get tossed into mixed squads), Trade Federation Drone (lots of them in a list, but always with a Belbullab or a few Hyenas--never straight spam), and Gold Trooper Torrent (both 2 Torrent 2 Jedi and a mixed list like Sinker Swarm, which tosses in a Pocket Ace in Ric Olie these days).

So 5 Alphas + Wampa is bad.  We shouldn't care, and shouldn't use any spammed generic list as a sign of alarm for the overall health of a generic ship.  Just feels like folks are learning the wrong lessons.

Guffaw. I've been playing since wave3 1.0. 

Absolutely, most lists end up being good with some variety, I won't deny that. QD 3 Nu Harpoons was a great example. 

However to say that spam lists shouldn't be compelling isn't right. First, there's plenty of spam lists in the history of the game. Second, spam lists with flight restrictions actually teach people maneuvering at the higher level than typical competency: focus fire, focusing, rocks. That special thing is called flight pattern. The lambda has one, very few people know how to use. The Upsilon has one. the 1.0 Tie D has one, you have to do two turns ahead for the 4k, you avoid pointing straight at rocks. The Z-95 in mass has them. I flew 6 Z-95s in 1.0 against the hardest broken meta lists because I knew how to use their flight pattern and blocking. 

Triple Silencer will definitely have a flight pattern. 

There's other advanced techniques of flight too: convergence patterns (overall what turns and how close is distance between allies and between enemies, see Lone Wolf), simplified Thach Weave, mutual cover. 

 

you get away with it in 2.0 with having dial-creeped dials on nearly every ship, but most people don't understand the flow of battle in flying/movement at all. 

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4 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

The recent trend in this discussion has brought something into my head.

So 6 Alpha Interceptors isn't legal.  It's probably not a big deal, because 5+Wampa is like 95% the same, and that isn't a big deal.  But isn't also just bad list design?  Like, 6 N-1s, if it was legal, would also almost surely be a bad list, not because the N-1 is a bad ship, but because it'd be flat and one-note.  N-1 has particular ways it has to move to keep Full Throttle, and that'll be better suited to being *part* of a list rather than the *entire* list.

One trait of a lot of ace-based lists is that, in order to get high initiative pilots on all the ships, folks have to fly different kinds of ships.  These ships cover the gaps in each other's profiles, and represent tools enough for the whole thing to work.  Squads of mixes of stuff kinda seem to work better than single-thing squads.  Kylo Ren is great.  Triple Silencer?  Naw.

So Metawing right now.  Top 4 generics: 104th ARC (Typically two + two aces, or three + ace), Omega Expert TIE/sf (mostly spammed with Optics, but some 3x Kylo, and Zeta TIE/sfs will get tossed into mixed squads), Trade Federation Drone (lots of them in a list, but always with a Belbullab or a few Hyenas--never straight spam), and Gold Trooper Torrent (both 2 Torrent 2 Jedi and a mixed list like Sinker Swarm, which tosses in a Pocket Ace in Ric Olie these days).

So 5 Alphas + Wampa is bad.  We shouldn't care, and shouldn't use any spammed generic list as a sign of alarm for the overall health of a generic ship.  Just feels like folks are learning the wrong lessons.

Sure most ships are best in a combo with other lists, that does not mean that ex. 6  N1's should be "bad" (not saying they are). But in a perfectly balanced game 200 vs 200 pts should equal a somewhat equal match if they players are equally good. Off course some ship, which are clearly designed to be support ships and such are exceptions to the case, but again,  a N1 is supposed to be an ordinary fighter, and facing 6 generics are not even slightly scary. The naked N1 is like an expensive Tie in some ways, yes yuo often get the free evade, but you only have 2 greens, so having a focus an an evade is not as valuable as on a tie defender. A tie fighter can't take missiles or torps, but they have Howlrunner stabled to most swarms, the N1 don't have this buffing leader ship, so another case fr the generic going down a point or 2. Same case with the V-19 torrent, you can take 8 and swarm them, but why would you? Why not cost it so that actually is a list worth considering, it just opens u pmore lists and swarms to play and still won't be up there with the "best" lists of mixed ships. 

 

A whole other point is that x-wing is not only for tourney players, I just can't be bothered always trying to break the current meta, but is is very satisfying when you fly win against akk your mates training for the next big tourney, with your janky list, not considered good.

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9 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

The recent trend in this discussion has brought something into my head.

So 6 Alpha Interceptors isn't legal.  It's probably not a big deal, because 5+Wampa is like 95% the same, and that isn't a big deal.  But isn't also just bad list design?  Like, 6 N-1s, if it was legal, would also almost surely be a bad list, not because the N-1 is a bad ship, but because it'd be flat and one-note.  N-1 has particular ways it has to move to keep Full Throttle, and that'll be better suited to being *part* of a list rather than the *entire* list.

One trait of a lot of ace-based lists is that, in order to get high initiative pilots on all the ships, folks have to fly different kinds of ships.  These ships cover the gaps in each other's profiles, and represent tools enough for the whole thing to work.  Squads of mixes of stuff kinda seem to work better than single-thing squads.  Kylo Ren is great.  Triple Silencer?  Naw.

So Metawing right now.  Top 4 generics: 104th ARC (Typically two + two aces, or three + ace), Omega Expert TIE/sf (mostly spammed with Optics, but some 3x Kylo, and Zeta TIE/sfs will get tossed into mixed squads), Trade Federation Drone (lots of them in a list, but always with a Belbullab or a few Hyenas--never straight spam), and Gold Trooper Torrent (both 2 Torrent 2 Jedi and a mixed list like Sinker Swarm, which tosses in a Pocket Ace in Ric Olie these days).

So 5 Alphas + Wampa is bad.  We shouldn't care, and shouldn't use any spammed generic list as a sign of alarm for the overall health of a generic ship.  Just feels like folks are learning the wrong lessons.

 

^pretty much

"If I just take the max of something, it should work and be good" is basically what a lot of these posts asking for points adjustments for generics are boiling down to and that's a weird metric by which to measure anything.  That metric also has absolutely nothing to do with how playable something is.

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That,s a to absolute of a conclusion to get to. For some ships, generic spam would be a perfectly fine way of measuring their worth. Ordinary fighters like Ties and x-wings for example. Maybe not shuttles, carriers and such. 

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Thing is, the TIE/ln is arguably a bad example.

Whilst I don't want every TIE swarm to be about Howlrunner and Iden Versio running away together to take over the galaxy, it's unarguable that they are massive force multipliers which - in one case - only works on the TIE/ln chassis. Any points value for generic swarms of TIE/ln has to take into account the fact that you could be using them - or Del Meeko or Squad Leader Valen Rudor, who also add massive force multipliers. Or Admiral Sloane and Ruthless, which are all about expendable assets and there's no-one more expendable than the non-limited TIE/ln pilot.

TIE fighter generics are a touch underpowered I suspect precisely because they have so many amazing support options that massively boost the effectiveness of a massed TIE swarm that fielding them without including at least one of the above is selling the chassis short.

 

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6 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

However to say that spam lists shouldn't be compelling isn't right.

Less that they shouldn't be compelling, but that we shouldn't panic when some of them aren't.  In recent months, we've had a great Renaissance of generic filler ships mixing up squads of aces.  I've only :rolleyes: been playing since Wave 8 1e, but it really feels like it's been a long time since generic filler has been this good.

Personally, I think it's great that filler has been working as well as it has.  Generics are a bigger part of X-Wing now, than pretty much the entire time I've been playing.

4 hours ago, Dwing said:

Sure most ships are best in a combo with other lists, that does not mean that ex. 6  N1's should be "bad" (not saying they are). But in a perfectly balanced game 200 vs 200 pts should equal a somewhat equal match if they players are equally good.

I don't take it as a goal that spam lists should be bad (I love spam TIE/sf), but mostly I don't think it should be a massive task for the devs to ensure that nearly all spam lists should be tournament-good.

Listbuilding should matter, and it's not necessarily a sign of an unbalanced game if it does.  It can go to extremes--1e Combo-Wing--but mixing in different kinds of units is how folks do it in most miniatures games.  My X-Wing night is also a WH40k night at the game store, and while some folks will spam tanks just to have like 10 tanks on the table, there's usually a decent swath of infantry mixed in, and some snipers, and so on.  It doesn't need to be about finding broken interactions, but just mixing up a few ship types.

One really cool set of lists for First Order runs Quickdraw, two generic SFs, and either three Init 1 TIE/fo or one each Init 1 TIE/fo and Silencer.  That's a serious, generic-forward list that mixes things up, takes advantages of the strengths and weaknesses of the multiple ships, a real sort of "combined arms" list.  There are roles for a lot of these ships, and they're decent at them.  So I don't care that 4x Silencer isn't legal, or that 7x TIE/fo isn't great.  4x Silencer or 7x TIE/fo doesn't have to be the goal.

4 hours ago, Dwing said:

A tie fighter can't take missiles or torps, but they have Howlrunner stabled to most swarms, the N1 don't have this buffing leader ship, so another case fr the generic going down a point or 2. Same case with the V-19 torrent, you can take 8 and swarm them, but why would you?

There is a buffing leader ship.  He's called Sinker and he flies in an ARC-170.  Sinker + 4 Torrents + [6th ship] is actually a pretty solid list.

I don't think it's too much of a burden on players to do something like this.  That's not demanding that everyone puts in the time for serious tournament lists.  Certainly, it doesn't necessitate that Torrents or N-1s get cheaper, because they can't use a Torrent or N-1 for support, and have to use Sinker.

4 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Thing is, the TIE/ln is arguably a bad example.

Whilst I don't want every TIE swarm to be about Howlrunner and Iden Versio running away together to take over the galaxy, it's unarguable that they are massive force multipliers which - in one case - only works on the TIE/ln chassis. Any points value for generic swarms of TIE/ln has to take into account the fact that you could be using them - or Del Meeko or Squad Leader Valen Rudor[???], who also add massive force multipliers. Or Admiral Sloane and Ruthless, which are all about expendable assets and there's no-one more expendable than the non-limited TIE/ln pilot.

TIE fighter generics are a touch underpowered I suspect precisely because they have so many amazing support options that massively boost the effectiveness of a massed TIE swarm that fielding them without including at least one of the above is selling the chassis short.

Also Sense.  Sense is a pretty nifty force multiplier for humble TIE Fighters, as we saw with Vader/Soontir/3x Academy.

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1 minute ago, theBitterFig said:

Squad Leader Valen Rudor[???],

The first ship you damage in your engagement phase spontaneously acquires an evade token before you can shoot at it again.

It's actually a lot better than you expect, and at 36 points he's pretty cheap.

Sense is also not a bad call. Either in a 'spare' force slot, or, for that matter, on a cheap generic Inquisitor (who's cheaper than an Informant on a shuttle and a lot more capable of staying with your squad and mixing it up in a dogfight).

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1 minute ago, Magnus Grendel said:

The first ship you damage in your engagement phase spontaneously acquires an evade token before you can shoot at it again.

It's actually a lot better than you expect, and at 36 points he's pretty cheap.

Sounds fair.

But if this is a One-Gotta-Go with Howlrunner, Iden, Del Meeko, Sloane, and Squad Leader Valen Rudor, I know who's going to be tending bar back on Lothal...

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6 hours ago, Dwing said:

A tie fighter can't take missiles or torps, but they have Howlrunner stabled to most swarms, the N1 don't have this buffing leader ship, so another case fr the generic going down a point or 2. Same case with the V-19 torrent, you can take 8 and swarm them, but why would you?

You have Sinker, who is more durable than Howl most times. (on average, Sinker with a focus survives 5 focused 3 die shot while Howl with an evade and Iden does not). Just because it isn't an N1 or a V19 doesn't mean that the synergy doesn't exist. We don't ignore Drea's force multiplier because she is a Y-wing rolling with Z95's, M3A's, Scurrgs, Tugs, TIE's, or whatever, either.

2 hours ago, Dwing said:

That,s a to absolute of a conclusion to get to. For some ships, generic spam would be a perfectly fine way of measuring their worth. Ordinary fighters like Ties and x-wings for example. Maybe not shuttles, carriers and such. 

I wholeheartedly disagree. 8 TIE fighters is not a good list. 6 TIE fighters with two of them being Howl and Iden is a decent list. 8 V19's is not a good list, but Sinker and 5 V19's with crack shot is. Spamming 6 StarWings is much different than giving 4 of them APTs, Concs, FCS, and Adv Slam. Spamming 5 N1's isn't great, but giving 3 of them proton torps and passive sensors, with Padme or Ric for support is pretty scary. Spamming these ship in one way doesn't show their worth, but modifying them by actually list building, shows their worth.

My point is that generics ships often find strength in synergies, not just in numbers. That is not to say that many generics don't need point adjustments, most factions generics need a looking at (particularly Scum), but the value of that generic should not be largely based on How many can I cram into a list?"

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1 hour ago, theBitterFig said:

Sounds fair.

But if this is a One-Gotta-Go with Howlrunner, Iden, Del Meeko, Sloane, and Squad Leader Valen Rudor, I know who's going to be tending bar back on Lothal...

Completely agree. Baron Von Incompetence is fun to use, but hardly game-breaking.

But you're never going to have all the TIE/ln force multipliers in one squad or you'll have no force left to multiply. He's just one more option with his own benefits and pitfalls. Being I3, for example, means he slots well into a Black Squadron force since he can chop and change activation and engagement order, and you can, at a pinch, use that bonus action for something else, like un-buggering an imminent train-wreck collision with a judicious barrel roll.

Not that I ever require such things, obviously.

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15 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

So 5 Alphas + Wampa is bad.  We shouldn't care, and shouldn't use any spammed generic list as a sign of alarm for the overall health of a generic ship.

I 100% agree with this assessment. I also think it just slightly misses the point.

The point of the whole Alpha Interceptor topic is not because we want 6x Interceptors to be a viable list (it never will be and it really shouldn't be – it's too high-variance). It's because the Alpha Interceptor doesn't have any specific role that it fills right now. It's much too fragile and expensive to be a filler or blocker. I would like to see the Alpha Interceptor at 32 points, not primarily because I want to fly 6x Interceptors (though I think it would be fun I don't think it should be viable – and it wouldn't anyway), but because I want to be able to use 1-2 interceptors to fill out an otherwise complete list without shooting myself in the foot.

The problem is that the devs seem to think that 6 Interceptors would be broken kinds of good (they wouldn't though; see 5x + Wampa), and for that reason they won't reduce the price to a viable level. I think they should reduce the price anyway, not because I think all spam lists should be good (basically no spam lists should be good; good spam lists is a sign of an OP chassis), but because I want the generic interceptor to be viable in some capacity elsewhere.

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