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Quarrel

Bullseye arc effects add insult to initiative injury

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It has slowly dawned on me that bullseye arc effects exacerbate everything straightjacketing in this game about Initiative, née Pilot Skill. The overall design already has the issues where repositioning plus high Initiative grants aces not one but two ways to deny your ships a full 50% of the game's fundamental "move and shoot" experience, coupled with a surtax on all I3-4 pilots that makes them cost more but gain nothing in return vs. many ships most games. Bullseye arcs multiply that latter effect: ships that move last can leverage them, but ships that don't can't, and thus waste squad points.

"But wait!" you say. "Bullseye effects can still force your opponent to reposition instead of taking a focus/TL." Well, sure. If you correctly predict your opponent's dial. And sometimes only if you also reposition instead of buffing. But most importantly, bullseye effects themselves, such as Predator, HLC and Soontir Fel, are a good countermeasure to this, since that enemy can likely flee into some position where it's not totally unmodded. So that opposing ace got more from their 2 point Predator than you did.

I'm not sure what to do about this.

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Posted (edited)

But wait! Bullseye effects can still force your opponent to preposition instead of taking a focus/TL

High-Ini Repo into bulleye is moderately overrated as a strategy. Yes it's good on pilot's tailor-made to do it (Soontir as you mentioned), but in most other circumstances the advantages are sufficiently offset by points and opportunity cost. In general, player's broadly tend to fail to account for opportunity cost when considering how powerful some strat is. I have seen people repo into || when the attack was strictly worse statistically than the same shot had they take a token, and sometimes a worse position to boot.

Just look up HCL and Predator on MetaWing. HLC is non-existent and Predator is only good as pts fill or when || synergy is already stacked. HLC Poe was the monster that never happened and never will (barring 2 pts HLC) because of said opportunity cost.

Another consideration is that low-Ini also have tools for guaranteeing || via blocking (lead ship blocks, other ships dial in a natual ||). It's not at critical mass in current state, but if say HLC and other || tools were heavily Ini scaled it  could be.

Edited by prauxim

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Clearly you and I have very different experiences with Bullseye effects. I’ve had great success getting those effects to work on lower Initiative ships. Perhaps it’s my flying style as compared to you. I tend to find that late and mid game after a first pass as I get arcs in several directions ships cross over those bullseye arcs with nowhere to go to getaway from one. I personally have no issues with the arcs.

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11 minutes ago, Ronu said:

Clearly you and I have very different experiences with Bullseye effects. I’ve had great success getting those effects to work on lower Initiative ships. Perhaps it’s my flying style as compared to you. I tend to find that late and mid game after a first pass as I get arcs in several directions ships cross over those bullseye arcs with nowhere to go to getaway from one. I personally have no issues with the arcs.

Same here. I just flew 5 SFs with init 3 crackshots at a HST and got all but 1 off on double jedi Ric. I turned and barrel rolled backwards to block Ric. Then lined up bullseye with another SF if I get the block, and I did. Range 1, dead Ric.

Making ships reposition is HUGE as well. Versus a howlrunner swarm, it was late game, and she moved and had a range 1 shot, but had to barrel roll out of two bullseye arcs. I ended up doing 2 dmg to her and later cracked her for real for the win.

Cards like crackshot can force bad decisions on your opponent. Sometimes its obvious when they either 2 bank or get no shot on you, so line up that bullseye with your lower PS.

Powerful bullseyes like Torani, all but guarantee the high init aces have to waste actions to get out of bullseye. You can use that to your advantage, by knowing they have to barrel roll, predict that, and lineup your other ships for the barrel roll by the opponent.

I like bullseye effects, as it really takes proper planning to use.

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OP, I see where you're coming from, but I actually really enjoy bullseye effects on ships of all initiatives. They are dirt cheap, but if you pick the right one it can do a lot of work for you.

Compare predator and crack shot, which are probably the two best bullseye upgrades. Crack is half the cost, but almost twice as powerful when it triggers (assuming crack shot is +1 hit, and a single reroll without focus is +0.5 hits). Crack can only trigger once, of course. Which do you choose?

If your ship will often have a focus token, predator starts to look better, because it adds +0.75 hits each time. Alternately, if you can reliably get bullseye more than twice in a game, predator will be doing more work than crack shot. Soontir is an excellent predator carrier because he will always have a focus token when bullseye triggers and he can reliably get bullseyes over and over. Guri is not a bad choice either, because if she gets in close she's likely to have both bullseye and focus. However, maarek stele and wedge are relatively bad choices for predator. Neither have strong, repeatable repositioning options or strong enough action economy to support it. Note that a lot of other aces where you might consider predator have strong contenders in other talents (fearless on teroch, juke on whisper, trick shot on blackout).

Crack shot, on the other hand, is much better if you will probably only get bullseye once. Crack is also "faster" than predator - it does +1 hit in one go, rather than adding up lots of +0.5 or +0.75 hits over time as predator does. Crack also has a bit of "ace scare" factor that predator doesn't - even a tokened up ace has to respect crack shot a little. I like to put crack shot on medium-init ships like black sun assassins that can position their bullseyes easily in an annoying spot.

Another tip for including bullseye effects on low init ships: use bumping abilities to pin enemies in your bullseye when you need to.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, AceDogbert said:

If bullseye arcs were such a potent thing that could be relied upon by high initiative pilots, you'd see an awful lot more CLT Delta7s on the table.

I do see Calibrated Laser Targeting a lot. But the - justified - points difference between it and Delta-7b is in no small part due to how awkward getting bullseye shots on demand can be.

It's easier than it sounds at first impression but far from easy. The fact that a boost or barrel roll is such a large discrete 'chunk' of movement at range 2+ means that repositioning into a bullseye is actually really hard; if you just miss a bullseye shot and barrel roll, you tend to skip completely over your target and land your bullseye off the other side of their base.

And yes, bullseye shots work well with low initiative generics when:

  • You can make the enemy predictable - blocking, or ion or tractor tokens. Mixing Ion Cannons and Heavy Laser Cannons on Scyks or Alpha Starwings is surprisingly effective.
  • You can field a lot of them - a block of 4 T-70s flying in a line abreast provides a 'grid' of bullseye arcs that an attacker struggles to escape from.
  • You can get to range 1 - it's very hard to avoid a bullseye at range 1.
  • You're hunting wabbits large base ships - high initiative or not, large base ships are a lot, lot easier to catch in a bullseye arc.
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

I kinda get where the OP is coming from, though.

Bullseye effects are kind of the only widely-available dice mods left, and they're all pretty cheap.  If you're getting out-flown by higher Init aces, there's some FeelsBadMan potential with how cheap their mods are.

As to aces being forced to move out of low-init bullseye, they want to move out of the front arc entirely, so no big deal.

That said, I've flown a few games with Sear with a few Belbullabs (I liked Sear, 2 Autopilot, Grievous, DFS-311 more than Sear 4x Autopilot), and that's Init 1 Bullseye.  It didn't happen all the time, but it happened enough to feel worthwhile.

Edited by theBitterFig

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I do see Calibrated Laser Targeting a lot. But the - justified - points difference between it and Delta-7b is in no small part due to how awkward getting bullseye shots on demand can be.

I should have qualified my statement further by specifying that you would see more CLT Delta7s being the main offensive force in their list; I've noticed a trend in my local meta bubble for Jedi to be paired up, one (usually Anakin) in a 7b while another (often Obi-Wan) flies CLT while also having Sense. All the players in these instances have not expected to, or made great effort to, secure the bullseye on the CLT platform, choosing to conserve their actions/Force points for other things.

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It sounds to me as if most of the arguments here pertaining to Bullseye could apply to most elements in the game.  Munitions benefit Aces more because they get to move last, guaranteeing they'll be able to get a Target Lock.  Actions favor Aces because they get to decide which to do with near perfect knowledge.  I don't know if the system needs fixing or not, but it seems odd to single out Bullseye as the problem.

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12 hours ago, wurms said:

Same here. I just flew 5 SFs with init 3 crackshots at a HST and got all but 1 off on double jedi Ric. I turned and barrel rolled backwards to block Ric. Then lined up bullseye with another SF if I get the block, and I did. Range 1, dead Ric.

I played the 5I5 list against Anakin/Obi/Ric. It's a five ship list with a bullseye effect on everything. I got a proc on one attack all game. (Could have had two, but it wasn't a smart target at the time.)

Over five games with at least 3 ships Crack Shot enabled, I've had it proc once. I've stopped using it so I can actually get an initiative bid sometimes.

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3 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

It sounds to me as if most of the arguments here pertaining to Bullseye could apply to most elements in the game.  Munitions benefit Aces more because they get to move last, guaranteeing they'll be able to get a Target Lock.  Actions favor Aces because they get to decide which to do with near perfect knowledge.  I don't know if the system needs fixing or not, but it seems odd to single out Bullseye as the problem.

Those are real issues -- so real that FFG has addressed them in some cases by scaling point costs with Initiative and designing compensatory cards. Thank you for supporting my argument.

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32 minutes ago, Quarrel said:

Those are real issues -- so real that FFG has addressed them in some cases by scaling point costs with Initiative and designing compensatory cards. Thank you for supporting my argument.

Ah.

So the title should really read "(Basically Any Game Mechanic Effect) Adds Insult to Initiative Injury".

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40 minutes ago, Quarrel said:

Those are real issues -- so real that FFG has addressed them in some cases by scaling point costs with Initiative and designing compensatory cards. Thank you for supporting my argument.

My point being, if everything is affected by initiative, why make everything scale with initiative rather than simply increasing higher-initiative pilots?  Not only is it easier on the points, but it allows adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

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20 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

My point being, if everything is affected by initiative, why make everything scale with initiative rather than simply increasing higher-initiative pilots?  Not only is it easier on the points, but it allows adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

Is it the case that an ace with said upgrade is only a bit better than an ace without? Or is it a lot better? Is a generic with the upgrade the same amount better as the ace? Or is the advantage the generic gains less than the advantage the ace gains?  I think that both ps needs to have a premium and upgrades need to scale, or upgraded aces will provide better bang for your buck than other options.

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3 minutes ago, BenDay said:

Is it the case that an ace with said upgrade is only a bit better than an ace without? Or is it a lot better? Is a generic with the upgrade the same amount better as the ace? Or is the advantage the generic gains less than the advantage the ace gains?  I think that both ps needs to have a premium and upgrades need to scale, or upgraded aces will provide better bang for your buck than other options.

But it also matters which Ace.  An upgrade may synergize well with one's ability, while being only decent on another.  Should all Aces pay the premium just because one can abuse it?

Of course, with interactions this complex, there's not one, single solution.  But that's why I find it odd to focus just on the Bullseye instead of looking at the larger picture.

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45 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

My point being, if everything is affected by initiative, why make everything scale with initiative rather than simply increasing higher-initiative pilots?  Not only is it easier on the points, but it allows adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

There's a big difference between Predator on a double-repositioner small-base I5 and Predator on Ketsu.

Initiative matters (a lot), but some high-Init ships should be more expensive, some upgrades should scale with Init, and some things should scale with high-Init repositioning (for example).  Bullseye is probably one of those things.

It's better to have multiple mechanisms for proper costing than a flat cost to Init that is overly broad.  (Of course, it's important to use those multiple mechanisms intelligently ... )

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I’m not sure the bullseye is significant and likely your idea of tailoring points to every situation is more precise but I think the model they use now of scaling upgrades with ps and paying more for PS is a good enough approximation. Certainly better that the points model from 1.0

Edited by BenDay

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I have never understood why throughout so much of X-Wing's lifespan so many people have whined that turrets (1.0) were breaking the game mechanics and making maneuver choices less relevant, yet these same people often touted high-PS repositional aces as the truest expression of flying skill.


In my opinion, repositioning is every bit as bad, if not worse, than turrets when it comes to making dialed-in maneuvers far less meaningful.  Now couple the ability to reposition with high Initiative/PilotSkill and it's an exponentially more pronounced issue of just being able to reposition out of situations.


NOTE: I'm not saying that turrets or repositioning is bad for the game or shouldn't have existed (or shouldn't exist), just that it's weird how many people have been "BOO TURRETS!" while not also being "BOO REPOSITIONING"  Both have vastly undercut the meaningfulness of dialed in maneuvers in different, though significant, ways.

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They likely don’t have time to give alternative points to every combo. Would upgrades then scale based on the other upgrades chosen if their was a particularly powerful synergy? I think it would get very complicated very fast.

 

many years ago when I first played warhammer fantasy the general paid more for his horse and we were happier for it.

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5 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

I have never understood why throughout so much of X-Wing's lifespan so many people have whined that turrets (1.0) were breaking the game mechanics and making maneuver choices less relevant, yet these same people often touted high-PS repositional aces as the truest expression of flying skill.


In my opinion, repositioning is every bit as bad, if not worse, than turrets when it comes to making dialed-in maneuvers far less meaningful.  Now couple the ability to reposition with high Initiative/PilotSkill and it's an exponentially more pronounced issue of just being able to reposition out of situations.


NOTE: I'm not saying that turrets or repositioning is bad for the game or shouldn't have existed (or shouldn't exist), just that it's weird how many people have been "BOO TURRETS!" while not also being "BOO REPOSITIONING"  Both have vastly undercut the meaningfulness of dialed in maneuvers in different, though significant, ways.

And turrets were not fixed with adjusting points but adjusting rules. The pilot skill thing will only be mitigated once they improve the rules for turn order. The points method is too complicated to implement 

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4 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

I have never understood why throughout so much of X-Wing's lifespan so many people have whined that turrets (1.0) were breaking the game mechanics and making maneuver choices less relevant, yet these same people often touted high-PS repositional aces as the truest expression of flying skill.


In my opinion, repositioning is every bit as bad, if not worse, than turrets when it comes to making dialed-in maneuvers far less meaningful.  Now couple the ability to reposition with high Initiative/PilotSkill and it's an exponentially more pronounced issue of just being able to reposition out of situations.


NOTE: I'm not saying that turrets or repositioning is bad for the game or shouldn't have existed (or shouldn't exist), just that it's weird how many people have been "BOO TURRETS!" while not also being "BOO REPOSITIONING"  Both have vastly undercut the meaningfulness of dialed in maneuvers in different, though significant, ways.

Personally speaking, I complained about turrets more often simply because I saw them more often.  Sure, Poe's ability, "When you reveal your dial: ignore it, remove any Stress tokens, place Poe anywhere on the board facing any direction, and sprinkle on a few tokens," (I may be paraphrasing a bit) was annoying, but I only saw people play him once every couple months or so, as opposed to facing fat turrets every single week.

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3 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

I have never understood why throughout so much of X-Wing's lifespan so many people have whined that turrets (1.0) were breaking the game mechanics and making maneuver choices less relevant, yet these same people often touted high-PS repositional aces as the truest expression of flying skill.

In my opinion, repositioning is every bit as bad, if not worse, than turrets when it comes to making dialed-in maneuvers far less meaningful.  Now couple the ability to reposition with high Initiative/PilotSkill and it's an exponentially more pronounced issue of just being able to reposition out of situations.

FWIW, I agree.  I think the game is in really good shape right now, and I think any major change would put that at risk, but I will say that if I had had any say in 2E's design, I would have changed the way repositioning works, such that it becomes a part of movement.  A repositioning ship would decide, when setting the dial, what repositoning it would be doing (including direction and forward-middle-back for BRs) and so on.  If the final position is blocked, you'd ignore that reposition and get a focus (or evade if available).  Or, if two repositions were "plotted," if the second were blocked, you'd revert to where the first put you (and get a token).  If the first were blocked, you'd revert to dial (and get a token).  If dial were blocked, no action.

Repositioning would become much more Init-agnostic, much more about players' ability to visualize the future board state, and much less of a concern in its ability to unbalance gameplay.

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1 minute ago, Jeff Wilder said:

FWIW, I agree.  I think the game is in really good shape right now, and I think any major change would put that at risk, but I will say that if I had had any say in 2E's design, I would have changed the way repositioning works, such that it becomes a part of movement.  A repositioning ship would decide, when setting the dial, what repositoning it would be doing (including direction and forward-middle-back for BRs) and so on.  If the final position is blocked, you'd ignore that reposition and get a focus (or evade if available).  Or, if two repositions were "plotted," if the second were blocked, you'd revert to where the first put you (and get a token).  If the first were blocked, you'd revert to dial (and get a token).  If dial were blocked, no action.

Repositioning would become much more Init-agnostic, much more about players' ability to visualize the future board state, and much less of a concern in its ability to unbalance gameplay.

Neat idea but, What would that dial look like? Or do you have hidden dials and hidden action tokens....  oooh the aces would be harder to fly and generics would always focus. It could work

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