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cnemmick

[IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.

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So to make the game more fun your proposal is to make existing pieces less fun? (Make good pieces worse instead of making bad pieces better)

I suppose we should look at the worst piece available and bring everything down to that level?

lets make everything as rubbish as the EWeb?

look, I get that bad and good are very subjective, but I for one prefer things being made better rather than made worse...

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My issue with trying to balance things to the lower power level of early skirmish is that there never really was a consistent power level in early skirmish.  The first few waves were wildly unbalanced - no realistic number of cost increases on other figures will ever make me want to take Biv or Fenn or Garkhaan or Sorin or Fett or RGC or wing guards or ..... to a competitive event.

I'm not unsympathetic to what you're saying - in a perfect world I, too, would like to see the average damage reduced.  The issue, though, is that we're starting from what has been and is a pretty balanced meta from wave 7 onward (original SC notwithstanding).  Yeah you could make weequays a bit more expensive or remove some of the big hunter cards, but if you do than it's just going to be Vader, Vader, Vader as far as the eye can see with nothing that can get through his defence to bring him down.  The original Vader got around that by being too slow and too expensive to field a list around, but the downside to that was he just never got played.  It's not just a simple thing to start reducing costs and banning cards without also taking into account the things they counter (and the things those counters counter).  And at some point, I think I'd rather just keep the newer figures who are already in a good, fun place (Vader, Han, Thrawn, etc.) without having to nerf all of those to the ground as well.

I'm not saying it's not a noble idea to balance to a lower lever, I just think it's far far easier to bring other figures up to the higher level a few at a time.

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15 hours ago, ricope said:

When you could have Captain Terro (13 HP) being one-shotted (by 6pt Onar) 

So I did the math on this and to have any realistic shot of doing this, Onar would need to be focused and burn through all the main Hunter cards (assassinate, tools, reflexes).

Aside from that not being possible with the new Assassinate rule, if I spend 7 points of command cards on a single focused attack, it should kill a 7 cost figure.

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I guess one more thing to add that's just occurred to me (although it's kind of a continuation of my previous post) is that if we're balancing "down" then we would need to nerf every single Tier-1 figure simultaneously (otherwise we'll end up with a few standouts who just dominate).  It's going to be tough to get every one of those changes right and even tougher to get enough people to agree what needs to be changed and how, not to mention it brings a whole mess of errata that we would need to start remembering all at the same time. 

Bringing lower figures up, by contrast, can be done in more controlled one-at-a-time way, gradually (re)introducing new figures as interest and comfort level dictates.

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18 hours ago, Majushi said:

*sigh*

Go on then.

Start suggesting what you would do to nerf waves 8-11.

 

Let's start with Ezra Bridger.  For 7 cost you get everything that Boba Fett has to choose from in Battle Discipline. +2 Damage, +3 Pierce, 2 recovery.  He has a 94% chance of a single surge, and 72% chance of two surges.  His overall damage probability goes like this:

1: 100, 2:100, 3:97, 4:81, 5:47, 6:16, 7:3 , He has 4 speed, but not really, really he has 12 total speed, the same as Fett, but he can move for 8 and still attack, where as Boba can only move for 6.  Let's compare his damage probably to Boba's:

1:100, 2:99, 3:93, 4:74, 5:41, 6:14, 7:2  and he has a lower chance of rolling two surges, 54% to Ezra's 72%.  Also, that's only if he chooses +2 damage for battle discipline, which must be declared at the time of attack declaration, rather than after the roll, to see what is most viable.  And while Boba has an extra evade, and is mobile, Ezra can reroll with another unique nearby, and flat out change a dice with a force user nearby.  

Is Boba Fett too expensive, absolutely.  Is Ezra too cheap.  Absolutely.  Kanan didn't need to be lowered, but Ezra should have been raised.  Instead it was all reductions in cost that never addressed the cost-damage-health disparities that exist.  Now you just have more room in your points pool to put figures that are going to die just as easily as they did before.  

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Posted (edited)

 

17 hours ago, Jaric256 said:

So I did the math on this and to have any realistic shot of doing this, Onar would need to be focused and burn through all the main Hunter cards (assassinate, tools, reflexes).

Aside from that not being possible with the new Assassinate rule, if I spend 7 points of command cards on a single focused attack, it should kill a 7 cost figure.

This I strongly disagree. Damage ceiling, or maximal damage possible should be minimized at all costs. Things like this is why it is possible to remove Han Solo or Leia or Sorin in one shot. In other words, such moves (having nearly 20% or more of your army being wiped out in 1 shot) should not even happen regardless of how many cards you burn or how good the attacker is, because

1. it literally gives the defender no time to respond (ex. Recovery, run away)

2. there's really not much the defender can do about it (it's just a "HA, I GOT THE CARDS, IN YOUR FACE!" move)

3. I'd argue such scenario ruins player experience: sure it's fun when I'm the attacker but it's really crappy when I'm the defender: I was expecting perhaps he'd be 20% or 30% injured, not 100% (depending on figures of course, I don't expect eStorm (3) to survive an attack from Vader (13), but I do expect my rTrando (3) to live for perhaps another 1-2 actions after being shot by eRanger (4) or my Han Solo (12) to live for perhaps another 2-3 actions after he got shot by IG-88 (12))

 

19 hours ago, ManateeX said:

My issue with trying to balance things to the lower power level of early skirmish is that there never really was a consistent power level in early skirmish.  The first few waves were wildly unbalanced - no realistic number of cost increases on other figures will ever make me want to take Biv or Fenn or Garkhaan or Sorin or Fett or RGC or wing guards or ..... to a competitive event.

I'm not unsympathetic to what you're saying - in a perfect world I, too, would like to see the average damage reduced.  The issue, though, is that we're starting from what has been and is a pretty balanced meta from wave 7 onward (original SC notwithstanding).  Yeah you could make weequays a bit more expensive or remove some of the big hunter cards, but if you do than it's just going to be Vader, Vader, Vader as far as the eye can see with nothing that can get through his defence to bring him down.  The original Vader got around that by being too slow and too expensive to field a list around, but the downside to that was he just never got played.  It's not just a simple thing to start reducing costs and banning cards without also taking into account the things they counter (and the things those counters counter).  And at some point, I think I'd rather just keep the newer figures who are already in a good, fun place (Vader, Han, Thrawn, etc.) without having to nerf all of those to the ground as well.

I'm not saying it's not a noble idea to balance to a lower lever, I just think it's far far easier to bring other figures up to the higher level a few at a time.

hmm good point, I haven't really considered the counters to the non-nerfed ones and the risk of having single-figure-domination meta just because we forgot to nerf something. I'm partially convinced that buffing weaker ones is the way to go, however with some caveats:

1. This still doesn't fix the issue where most units can get easily removed in 1 shot. To combat this the only other way I see is to buff them with extra HPs. For example, I think people would still happily play figures such as eStorm or eRebel Trooper or rHeavy if they can get their point's worth. I think I'd be happy to play figures like rTrandos or eTrandos or rStorm or Dengar if they stays long enough to do something 

2. related to point 1: when will HP stop? if this continues we'd need units having (hypothetical example) something like 50 HP so that you can get their points worth

 

in other words, if we cannot stop the damage ceiling from continuously rising, we'd need to buff units with extra HPs or defensive abilities such that they're useful or can actually pose threats without the fear of being removed. How much "extra" HP should be "extra"?

Edited by ricope

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The damage ceiling will only rise if FFG release new content.

the IACp have already begun trying to limit the “gotch” situations where three command cards get used in one attack to get a single figure out in one attack.

not every figure will always “get its points worth”. That expectation in and of itself is one of the most unrealistic things you’ve said.

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2 hours ago, Majushi said:

The damage ceiling will only rise if FFG release new content.

the IACp have already begun trying to limit the “gotch” situations where three command cards get used in one attack to get a single figure out in one attack.

not every figure will always “get its points worth”. That expectation in and of itself is one of the most unrealistic things you’ve said.

The damage ceiling didn't HAVE to rise.  FFG chose to not properly test and assess their new figures against their old figures, or their baseline.  So they were lazy and just pumping out plastic.  Exactly the same thing Wizards of the Coast did at the end of the Star Wars Miniatures run, which absolutely limited the number of viable characters that could be played.    I absolutely disagree that a figure shouldn't gets its points worth.  What's the point of their points cost then?  I suspect the whole point of lowering their costs was to give them their points worth.  It doesn't address the one-shot problem, it merely tells players it will cost you less than it did before.  It doesn't improve game strategy.  Anyway, I'm tilting at windmills at this point.  The whole thing is giving me deja vu of the BlooMilk days where a team of players tried to keep Star Wars Miniatures alive.

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Simply the fact that you’re rolling dice means that you are not always going to get your points worth. I’m not saying balance isnt important. I’m saying not everything can be perfectly balanced. Jeez.

yes, ffg appear to badly play test their last Ia stuff. But that’s what we got. So, for the many reasons previously listed, the IACP are trying to bring other less played figures in line. One or two at a time.

maybe the fact that you think you’re “tilting at windmills” should give you an idea of where you actually stand?

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On 7/20/2019 at 2:56 AM, ricope said:

Damage ceiling, or maximal damage possible should be minimized at all costs. Things like this is why it is possible to remove Han Solo or Leia or Sorin in one shot.

The problems with damage ceilings aren't caused by Deployment/figure cost imbalances or even by power creep. They're caused by dice design.

Just by the nature of the design of the dice, most 2-die attackers in Skirmish are not guarenteed to do damage against a single-die defender based solely on damage results alone. Each deployment has to have surge abilities to increase damage or negate block results so that the average attack roll is productive. Even then, most 2-die attackers WITH surge abilities only average about a 50% chance of doing at least 3 damage.

So when more dice are added to an attack pool, the additional surge results causes the damage ceiling to shoot up dramatically. This is why Focus is such a powerful condition and why Gideon & Threepio are 5 points of every Rebel and Merc deployment.

It is fun for the attacker to roll 4 or more dice. I agree it's not fun for the defender to sit there and watch an attack & defense roll (that have a <10% chance of occurring) take an important figure off the board in one shot. I'm just not for sure how the damage to fix the damage ceiling problem without changing the dice or the core rules.

 

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3 hours ago, cnemmick said:

The problems with damage ceilings aren't caused by Deployment/figure cost imbalances or even by power creep. They're caused by dice design.

Just by the nature of the design of the dice, most 2-die attackers in Skirmish are not guarenteed to do damage against a single-die defender based solely on damage results alone. Each deployment has to have surge abilities to increase damage or negate block results so that the average attack roll is productive. Even then, most 2-die attackers WITH surge abilities only average about a 50% chance of doing at least 3 damage.

So when more dice are added to an attack pool, the additional surge results causes the damage ceiling to shoot up dramatically. This is why Focus is such a powerful condition and why Gideon & Threepio are 5 points of every Rebel and Merc deployment.

It is fun for the attacker to roll 4 or more dice. I agree it's not fun for the defender to sit there and watch an attack & defense roll (that have a <10% chance of occurring) take an important figure off the board in one shot. I'm just not for sure how the damage to fix the damage ceiling problem without changing the dice or the core rules.

I understand that, that's why I mentioned HP or defensive buff bonus, or something that disincentive other figures shooting at them, instead of a mass-scale point reduction: being shot for 4 damage isn't so bad if you know your opponent still need to chew through another 8 HP

For example (untested, just some thoughts off top of my head), as crappy as Rebel Troopers are, what if you give them "Lucky" (may treat blank side as dodge)? what if Wing Guards's "Keep the Peace" just said "attacker suffer 1 strain" without taking on the strain themselves? what if Stormtroopers have eGamo's defense ability (apply +1 block for all ranged attacks against you)? what if you give Wampas a way to recover? what if ISBs have an ability that said "Shadow: if the attacker have 3 dice as attack pool, you may remove 1 dice from it"?

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1 hour ago, ricope said:

I understand that, that's why I mentioned HP or defensive buff bonus, or something that disincentive other figures shooting at them, instead of a mass-scale point reduction: being shot for 4 damage isn't so bad if you know your opponent still need to chew through another 8 HP

For example (untested, just some thoughts off top of my head), as crappy as Rebel Troopers are, what if you give them "Lucky" (may treat blank side as dodge)? what if Wing Guards's "Keep the Peace" just said "attacker suffer 1 strain" without taking on the strain themselves? what if Stormtroopers have eGamo's defense ability (apply +1 block for all ranged attacks against you)? what if you give Wampas a way to recover? what if ISBs have an ability that said "Shadow: if the attacker have 3 dice as attack pool, you may remove 1 dice from it"?

The skirmish community already loathes dodge.  They go into apoplectic fits when they line up some big shot and suddenly the railroad crossing pops up.  

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4 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

The skirmish community already loathes dodge.  They go into apoplectic fits when they line up some big shot and suddenly the railroad crossing pops up.  

Rebel Troopers? then perhaps give them Nexu's Cunning? For every evade you get an extra block

or maybe "if you're adjacent to a friendly trooper, apply +1 evade"?

those are just some ideas, but I just don't feel like point reduction and giving more firepower to the weaker figures solves the core problem, we might be able to get something if we went the opposite direction and give defensive buffs instead, that I think is an idea I can see working out

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10 hours ago, ricope said:

those are just some ideas, but I just don't feel like point reduction and giving more firepower to the weaker figures solves the core problem, we might be able to get something if we went the opposite direction and give defensive buffs instead, that I think is an idea I can see working out

After Season 1, the IACP will be starting to address cards where each card has an unique problem and potentially an unique solution. The Steering Committee tries to look into solutions that might address several different figures: for example, a Beast Tamer-like skirmish upgrade. However a generic solution might not fix everything appropriately.

Defensive stat increases or defensive abilities are definitely on the table for potential fixes for some figures. The committee does our best to evaluate what each card needs and all the potential solutions to improve that card. In particular, we have been working on some ideas to help Guardian-trait figures with protecting non-Guardians; these ideas may not be ready for Season 2, but I share this as an example that the Steering Committee wants to use different kinds of improvements in order to enable multiple kinds of gameplay.

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5 hours ago, cnemmick said:

After Season 1, the IACP will be starting to address cards where each card has an unique problem and potentially an unique solution. The Steering Committee tries to look into solutions that might address several different figures: for example, a Beast Tamer-like skirmish upgrade. However a generic solution might not fix everything appropriately.

Defensive stat increases or defensive abilities are definitely on the table for potential fixes for some figures. The committee does our best to evaluate what each card needs and all the potential solutions to improve that card. In particular, we have been working on some ideas to help Guardian-trait figures with protecting non-Guardians; these ideas may not be ready for Season 2, but I share this as an example that the Steering Committee wants to use different kinds of improvements in order to enable multiple kinds of gameplay.

Love the idea of giving the guardian trait some utility for lists.  Could really add a new dimension to the game if done properly.

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The last article that is reviewing the Season 1 Vote results is up. We take a look at what topics (e.g. Improving Core Set Deployments, changing Gideon to Focus Rebels only) our voters asked us to make a priority for Season 2. We also reveal some teasers for what is being planned for Season 2. http://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/07/23/hes-no-good-to-us-dead-voters-selections-for-season-2-content/

Hint: There's a picture of Boba Fett!

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5 hours ago, cnemmick said:

The last article that is reviewing the Season 1 Vote results is up. We take a look at what topics (e.g. Improving Core Set Deployments, changing Gideon to Focus Rebels only) our voters asked us to make a priority for Season 2. We also reveal some teasers for what is being planned for Season 2. http://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/07/23/hes-no-good-to-us-dead-voters-selections-for-season-2-content/

Hint: There's a picture of Boba Fett!

I want to take everything said about the direction for Fett and shoot it directly into my veins.

 

👍

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, cnemmick said:

The last article that is reviewing the Season 1 Vote results is up. We take a look at what topics (e.g. Improving Core Set Deployments, changing Gideon to Focus Rebels only) our voters asked us to make a priority for Season 2. We also reveal some teasers for what is being planned for Season 2. http://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/07/23/hes-no-good-to-us-dead-voters-selections-for-season-2-content/

Hint: There's a picture of Boba Fett!

First off, awesome.  Love basically everything I read.  I do however, have a suggestion for this part regarding Gideon:

Quote

The Skirmish Committee is concerned that removing Gideon now might allow the Skirmish Upgrade card Doubt to counter Hunter damage output too strongly, forcing Merc players to run Jabba and Threepio. Our goal is to add more options for players in the IACP metagame, and only reduce options when absolutely necessary.

I share this concern.  I also have a suggestion on how to prevent this from becoming a significant nerf or simply making 3po the new Gideon (which I don't think anyone wants either).  I've shared this before, but the Clawdite is the perfect candidate to step into the void in support roles that will be created by removing Gideon.  Unfortunately, the conspire ability isn't the support ability we're looking for, at least not as currently constructed.  It doesn't need much changing.  There are two ways that conspire falls short.  The inconsistency in the support it provides.  The ability to position the figure to actually take advantage of it. 

This is what I use at my table:

(action) Conspire:  Roll your attack pool plus 1 yellow die.  For each <surge> result +1, to a maximum of 3, you or a friendly figure in your line of sight gains 1(?)

I've tested this on multiple occasions, both with and against, and it make the figure actually worth bringing, but not overpowered.  Most of the time you're getting two tokens.  Sometimes you get one and sometimes you get three, but most of the time you're getting 2.  Gideon's focus is going to add 2 icons around 85% of the time and between 1 and 3 accuracy every time.  The loss in accuracy seems to be offset by the option to buff two separate figures (although, not as strongly as a focus).

Since you can only play one damage token per attack, this will slightly lower the damage of a few individual attacks, while not lowering the overall damage output scum hunters need to be competitive.

I'm sure you guys have something in mind, but wanted to throw out a suggestion that I've tried and liked.  Good luck and thanks again for taking the time to do this.

Edited by Jaric256

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You want to really shake up the meta.  Check it out.  First, who the heck thought giving C3PO the ability to 'focus' a character was a good idea?  Where in the lore is C3PO anything but a distraction?  Never once did he contribute to another character in the film doing better because of his input.  So, I'd remove his ability to hand out focus.  Who would take C3PO into combat willingly?  "You're probably programmed for etiquette and protocol?" "Protocol, why it's my primary function.  I'm well versed...."  "I have no need for a protocol droid." "Of course you don't sir, not in an environment such as this.  That's why I'm programmed with the ability to imbue you with the ability to do much greater damage in battle." 

Second. Change On My Mark to Rebel only, and make it a mystery token instead of focus.  While you are at it, make Jabba's Incentive line of sight.  This way you don't have to muck with Temporary alliance.  There are way to many focus dice being pass around.  

For Boba Fett.  I don't think you need to represent every nurnie on his armor as an ability.  That is what happened to Star Wars Miniatures.  Darth Vader had a high defense, a very high defense, to represent the totality of his ability to not be hit, be that a saber block, or absorbing the shot.  It didn't matter.  The how was up to the player's imagination. Additionally DV had 140 hit points, which essentially meant 14, I still don't know why they did damage in increments of 10.  I have never liked the term Hit Points since I learned back in my D&D days that they didn't actually represent life, they represent a characters ability to stay in the fight.  Likewise I don't like the term health.  Giving Boba Fett an extra block and evade, to my mind represented his jetpack and armor.  Now, some might go back to my own Boba Fett card and see I added some abilities too.  I have thought it through more thoroughly.  I don't mind a couple of abilities, but, to repeat, everything doesn't need an ability.  Some of it can be infered from extra damage, extra accuracy, and the ability to weaken.  Boba Fett is not a bad character, if he could use all of his Battle Discipline abilties rather than choose 1. He is still too expensive, but the point I'm slowly laboring toward is, don't go crazy trying to pad him out.  Be elegant. 

For Melee characters.  This is Star Wars, and they exist, mostly in the form of Force Users, but GL had to show pigies with axes, for whatever reason.  To me, there is a reason you don't see modern soldiers with swords.  It doesn't make a lick of sense.  You aren't going to go after someone with a rifle with your sword... that's how we get scenes from Raiders of the Lost Arc.  I appreciate that it is hard to get into melee range for some figures.  I would say, increase their health a little bit.  Likely if there wasn't such a high damage ceiling, they would be more viable anyway.  Also, I think people love melee characters for the same reason more people play Rogues in WoW, or stealthers in any game.  There is this misconception that melee characters are more powerful than range characters.  That is just silly, Force users aside. 

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2 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

You want to really shake up the meta.  Check it out.  First, who the heck thought giving C3PO the ability to 'focus' a character was a good idea?  Where in the lore is C3PO anything but a distraction?  Never once did he contribute to another character in the film doing better because of his input.  So, I'd remove his ability to hand out focus.  Who would take C3PO into combat willingly?  "You're probably programmed for etiquette and protocol?" "Protocol, why it's my primary function.  I'm well versed...."  "I have no need for a protocol droid." "Of course you don't sir, not in an environment such as this.  That's why I'm programmed with the ability to imbue you with the ability to do much greater damage in battle."

I'm well in favor and I don't think I'd miss it if all 3 (C-3PO, Gideon, Jabba) are banned: during casual skirmish games all 3 are already banned in my group

The problem is that once someone has an extra Focus their damage ceiling usually immediately gets bumped +2 (50% chance) or +3 at the best (33% chance), there's only 1/6 of the dice doing nothing or adds only +1 damage

I remember once in an all-out battle (nothing is off-limit) I played Rebel and I did like 8 or 9 damage in 1 shot to an AT-DP (or was it AT-ST?) with a Focused Rogue Han Solo + command cards such as Tools for the Job

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Posted (edited)

For a long time, it was my job to create surveys, that get the results I wanted (or my customer wanted). Asking the questions in the right way, choosing the right participants. Choosing the right threshold values. A lot of math noone understands. Stuff like that.

You're selling this survey as a big success. "TL,DR, everything we did was approved." For me ... I think you asked the right questions to the right people.

The Chinese Government gets full approval on every election, too. Do you think, that is good or bad?

Being pretty good in math, let me tell you, that some of of your fixes are not even on your own power curve. (I don't even like your reference points.) From everyone, that is able to use a calculator, you shouldn't have gotten full approval. At least some of the fixes shouldn't have been approved.

All those "*sigh*"- and "Jeez"-comments e.g. by Majushi got rid of many of your critics. They killed any real criticism.

All those "Yeah, we're doing that behind closed doors. Just wait and see."-comments got rid of some more critics.

Let me tell you: The critics are your most important feed back group. You got rid of them.

And then, you asked the right questions in the right way.

These results are not the approval of THE community, but of YOUR community. Actually, they prove nothing.

That makes me a little sad. I had high hopes for IACP project.

Edited by DerBaer

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11 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

You want to really shake up the meta.  Check it out.  First, who the heck thought giving C3PO the ability to 'focus' a character was a good idea?  Where in the lore is C3PO anything but a distraction?  Never once did he contribute to another character in the film doing better because of his input.  So, I'd remove his ability to hand out focus.  Who would take C3PO into combat willingly?  "You're probably programmed for etiquette and protocol?" "Protocol, why it's my primary function.  I'm well versed...."  "I have no need for a protocol droid." "Of course you don't sir, not in an environment such as this.  That's why I'm programmed with the ability to imbue you with the ability to do much greater damage in battle." 

Second. Change On My Mark to Rebel only, and make it a mystery token instead of focus.  While you are at it, make Jabba's Incentive line of sight.  This way you don't have to muck with Temporary alliance.  There are way to many focus dice being pass around.  

Thematically I like changes like this (except the Jabba one, personally) but the problem with doing this in a competitive game is similar to the problem we talked about earlier with raising costs on things like eQuays.  If you remove focus from Mercs and especially Rebels, two factions who have had all of their units designed around having it since day 1, who's going to stop Vader?  You'd end up with competitive tournaments being imperial lists as far as the eye can see.

Now you can say that these figures giving out focus shouldn't have been so powerful to begin with, and I agree with you on that (as would, I'd wager, the designers of the game in retrospect) but the fact is that, as it stands today, the figures that we have have been built with freely available focus in mind.  You can't just get rid of it wholesale without completely changing the game balance (and tilting it towards the faction that doesn't rely on focus).  Also, the Doubt card has helped to reduce the "sit back behind cover and focus your whole army" strategy that some people didn't like - if focus ends up still being a problem, I think going that route is probably a better way to do it.  Maybe add some ways to remove conditions, but limit them to the rebel army or something like that to prevent imperial abuse?

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