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Quarrel

Bullseye arc effects add insult to initiative injury

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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.


An interesting take, I would like such a change IF there was a convenient/practical way to indicate such intentions without components running amok. 

Personally, I'd have been more inclined to just have eliminated Repositional Actions from 2.0 entirely, possibly narrowing firing arcs and maybe adding some new maneuver templates in the process.

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7 minutes ago, BenDay said:

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

You'd have a movement dial and a "repositioner's dial," yeah.  (Or two, if applicable!)  The latter would have an option for "none."

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10 minutes 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.

This is the movement mechanic for the BSG minis game.

 

I like it quite a bit for exactly the reasons you mentioned. But in that game all movement is simultaneous so there’s no convenient spot for a proper skill-based action choice.

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5 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

You'd have a movement dial and a "repositioner's dial," yeah.  (Or two, if applicable!)  The latter would have an option for "none."

Three dials per ship, perhaps four for Jedi, the pre-maneuver action dial would be a different color 🤪 games may get longer...

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2 hours ago, Quarrel said:

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.

Assuming you’re using the Resistance list. You have a few different things in play. Rear arcs won’t bullseye. More importantly (and likely the crux of the issue) you’re used to moving after most list. So your thought process on getting bullseyes is from being the one repositioning not predicting and lining those shots up. 

When flying from a lower Initiative your not flying to line up bullseye arcs at least not early. So if you’re not used to the patients and are looking 2-3 rounds ahead where you can get those shots it’s going to be a struggle. Some games may only get one or two that’s as much to your planning as it is to your opponent seeing something and trying to plan ahead enough to avoid it.

 

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48 minutes 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.

I suppose an alternate to this would be to eliminate the "Perform Action" step entirely and have actions take place during the System phase, a la Decloaking. You can still boost and barrel roll, but you'll have less information about the board state when you do so. It would also make blocking less impactful, and things like Advanced Sensors would be reversed to allow you to perform your action after executing a maneuver as before.

Linked actions would also need revision in this scenario.

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3 minutes ago, Ronu said:

Assuming you’re using the Resistance list. You have a few different things in play. Rear arcs won’t bullseye. More importantly (and likely the crux of the issue) you’re used to moving after most list. So your thought process on getting bullseyes is from being the one repositioning not predicting and lining those shots up. 

When flying from a lower Initiative your not flying to line up bullseye arcs at least not early. So if you’re not used to the patients and are looking 2-3 rounds ahead where you can get those shots it’s going to be a struggle. Some games may only get one or two that’s as much to your planning as it is to your opponent seeing something and trying to plan ahead enough to avoid it.

 

Now you get it.

I run lots of mid initiative CLT jedi, or bullseye ships. The secret for making CLT work?

Have more ships. Seriously. Just have 4+ ships and reliably getting the bullseye when you want becomes so much easier. I’ve become quite adept at getting it on demand, even when moving before my opponents. In fact as someone who basically doesn’t fly I6, and rarely I5, and runs no bid? Most games I have at least one enemy ship moving after me.

It is simply a matter of mindset. Don’t overcommit, don’t force, pick the best options and use your numbers to force opponents into sub optimal choices. I’ve had games where CLT wouldn’t trigger but I got value. If my opponent has to chose more than once between staying in my meatball or repositioning and not having mods against multiple other shots? I count that a win.

Go ahead and boost out of bullseye. But welcome to R1 of my TL Arc.

Setting up situations where you can take an advantage by either getting the bullseye or get a better shot from another ship? Thats the secret.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

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.  

 

1 hour ago, Jeff Wilder said:

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.

Well, I expect that the originally idea would be that repositioning comes as an opportunity cost of not doing something else.  OTOH, like the imbalanced 1.0 JM5K dial, there really isn't much of an opportunity cost.

Maybe if all repositioning was Red. . .

Edited by Darth Meanie

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6 hours ago, Jeff Wilder said:

You'd have a movement dial and a "repositioner's dial," yeah.  (Or two, if applicable!)  The latter would have an option for "none."

I can almost see it for a barrel roll (but only if the only choices are Left/not/Right), but as to a boost, wouldn't it just be better to have more maneuvers? (And potentially more difficulties... moves you that don't stress you but deny you actions, or that turn your actions red, etc etc).  A 135 degree "hairpin turn" would be the same as a hard into a boost in the same direction, or higher-speed hard turns and banks and straights can cover boosts otherwise.  Like, if a TIE Interceptor could go 2 to 7-straight, 2 to 5 bank, 1 to 4 hard, and 2 to 3 hairpin, that kind of eliminates boosting.  Of course, that adds like 12 moves to the dial, and maybe that also doesn't work, just in terms of how much space there is on a dial...

 

But the whole concept kinda gives me bad Crimson Skies flashbacks.  Hex-grid movement done by checking a massive chart and writing in, say, a 3R2C maneuver, to describe speed, bearing, how many steps away from the straightline, and final facing, then checking the Gs rating of the maneuver against your plane's rating, and determining if you need to make a Natural Touch roll or suffer random movement... I really love that maneuvers in X-Wing are as simple as they are.

There's a price paid in that movement actions are easy and reactive, but I think there's also a benefit in things being fairly simple.

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I have to pay over 10 points to make the jump from one of my I5 T70's to the only I6 small base in my faction: Poe. 

I feel like I pay big time to have reliable agency. 

It's not perfectly balanced for every ship or every faction, but I'm feeling like we're doing just fine, people. 

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8 hours ago, BenDay said:

Three dials per ship, perhaps four for Jedi, the pre-maneuver action dial would be a different color 🤪 games may get longer...

Instead of making another dial for each ship, I think an action selector should be generic (especially with upgrades adding actions).  However, you wouldn't want it to be a dial, then, because then you'd need new ones every time a new action was introduced.  I liked the idea of having action tokens.  Give them some shape to distinguish them from condition tokens, and make them indistinguishable from the back.  Each turn, you assign dials and actions to ships ahead of time.  It may up the learning curve a bit, as you'd have to decide if you wanted to Target Lock or Barrel Roll before actually seeing where your ship and any lower-initiative ships ended up, but it would make the choices a bit more interesting, I think.

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8 hours ago, Ronu said:

Assuming you’re using the Resistance list.

No, I'm talking about a TIE Salad-ish forum list of five Imperial pilots: Howlrunner, Mithel, Scourge, Maarek and Duchess.

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13 hours ago, Quarrel said:

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.

I've flown the imperial 5x5 Crack Shot list a fair bit, including at a hyperspace trial against some of the top players in my country. The list performed well, but aces were certainly the hardest matchups. Bringing howlrunner means that even though the list is flying at i5, your ships are restricted to flying in a fairly tight formation. Even if you break formation, only duchess has particularly good maneuverability. Never mind bullseye effects, that list has a hard time keeping jedi in arc at all! I would suggest that this list is a poor example for supporting your argument - not only is it a fairly unmaneuverable list, it is also composed of high initiative pilots.

During my time flying 5x5 TIEs, I found that getting crack shot to work and getting aces in arc often involved delaying the engagement or waiting until aces wound up out of position. In many games I would fly along a board edge an kturn while my opponent flew towards the center of the board so that I could get a better approach. Of course, catching aces is very difficult when they can flee so quickly - that's what made the games hard.

After that tournament, I revised my list to be able to better handle aces. I needed an endgame ace, but I also needed a way to kill jedi or other aces quickly, before they could flee out of arc again and regen. Bringing palob or seevor wouldn't be enough - jedi need to be bumped if you want to stop their fine tuned controls. The core of the list thus became two black sun assassins with crack shot - excellent blockers and hard-hitting gunships. Working as a pair, they can reliably block and kill any ace. Fenn provides endgame support, and I gave him crack shot to help front load damage and reach that end game faster. Finally, seevor rounds out the list as a cheap distraction and blocker. This list usually fires 2-3 crack shots every game, and I've never regretted having them.

Also, you can't complain too hard about crack shot even if it doesn't fire - it only costs 1pt!

12 hours 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.

I think now is a prudent time to point out that high initiative pilots cost more than low initiative pilots. Scaling upgrades by initiative is only necessary when higher initiative has a disproportionately large effect on the effectiveness of those upgrades. As per my previous post in this thread, I don't think bullseye effects fall into that category.

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3 hours ago, Quarrel said:

Probably like in FFG's RuneWars minis game.


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And how well is that game doing?

Sorry, meant no offence but: 1) I dont think the planning phase has to take even more time. Furthermore and more importantly, 2) from a gameplay perspective it is important to have an element of "positional-reaction" it  adds to the tactical element of the game, not to mention the the fun of how your action phase is going to going to unfold and how you can react to how that unfolds - instead of making it a "**** not only did I misjudged my manouver, my action is now also bad and there is nothing I can do". 

Is the initiative system perfect?!? Yes it is! It is a very important element that establishes the whole "formation of grunts in a squardron" versus the "ace" (blocking spreading of arcs versus post-reposition). Any problems can be handled by either upgrade/pilot cost, or byupgrades/pilots that lets you "see the future".  
 

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It's odd; in my experience I don't frequently see top players winning because of bullseye effects.  It's always just a useful component of their strategy, not the clutch.

Most common I see is Crack TIE variations or Soontir will be giddy about their bullseyes....  But crack ties are not aces, and Soontir is a delicate flower that has to be flown incredibly carefully and wisely -- he wins by caution and wise positioning, not by rushing in to get a victory bullseye.  His bullseye helps, but doesn't define the game for him.  Crack TIEs are the opposite and a strong counter-argument to the "it's all about initiative" argument: they tend toward low init, relying on coverage rather than initiative.  TIE Salad can be strong, but it's not dominating the meta last I saw it.

I fly Kimogilas a lot; they're one of my favorite ships in the game.  Given their astonishing bullseye ability that frequently makes aces soil themselves, and the opportunity to equip Predator or Crack shot to compound the effect, one would expect to see them deployed more often, beating up lower-init scrub lists that can't escape that bullseye.  You would expect Torani to be on the table very often to purge swarms.  You don't though, even with init 1 vulture swarms ruling the skies.  The reason is kimos are a bit expensive and clunky for what you get out of them; an amazing bullseye effect is not sufficient.

More to the point, as mentioned previously, you'd also expect the unholy 4-dice Heavy Laser Cannon, a heavy attack for only four points, to be deployed extremely often on high-init ships like Poe, Serissu, Rexler, and Darth Maul.  In practice, you don't, and there's a lot to be found in that reality.  If bullseyes were truly amazing, HLC aces would rule the skies.

Rather, it feels to me like bullseye effects are in a pretty good spot.  Bullseyes can reward good flying as an ace, or good coverage as a team of scrubs.  They're valuable but not the core winning strategy of any fleets I've seen; fleets cannot afford to depend on that bullseye landing.

 

As for the discussion about eliminating or nerfing repositions, I don't agree.  Ace lists regularly vex me, but that's what they're supposed to do.  They're literally supposed to by using their initiative and repositions to outfly scrubs; otherwise there's no reason to put an expensive named pilot in a delicate ship on the table.  Swarms would permanently rule the meta.  Instead, we have slippery aces with the opportunity to dodge arcs and line up good shots for themselves.  You can field Rambo against a full army and watch him slice, shoot, and trap his way through them like they're butter unless they're smart about their coverage.  I much prefer this over what's being discussed, even though, as I mentioned, aces frequently cause my fleets fits.  ;)

I get people feeling salty about being totally outmaneuvered, but that warrants a change in strategy rather than a fundamental disassembly of the game.  Remember that beef and swarms are much more reliably villainous in the meta than are aces.  Aces take a lot more work than, say, Rebel Beef did; an ace list can go horribly, horribly wrong by messing up that positioning, while a beef list can afford a few mistakes.  I like the risk-reward of ace lists, and it's still fun flying against them, even if it's pretty challenging to end the little bastards.

Maybe it's personal preference, but I prefer to see high-init aces over vulture swarms and beef lists.

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Posted (edited)

The problem with bullseye re initiative is imo more that we're paying WAY too much for talented generics 

As mentioned previously, the lower I ships' bullseye advantage is quantity. Unfortunately, most way overpay for a generally useless initiative bump + talent slot

I believe that I1 As and the Mining Guild Surveyor are adequately priced for fielding low I bullseyes in large numbers 

Ofc, I 4 pilots are aokay bullseyes as well since there are A LOT of good i 4 pilots and crackshot is cheap 

Snapshot Probably gonna take over low I talent slots, though 

Edited by ficklegreendice

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I actually don't think the bullseye arcs are as big an issue. Having to set up a bullseye makes arc dodging harder, and it does reward good piloting. CLT Jedi can't fly the same way a non-bullseye ace does.

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3 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

The problem with bullseye re initiative is imo more that we're paying WAY too much for talented generics 

As mentioned previously, the lower I ships' bullseye advantage is quantity. Unfortunately, most way overpay for a generally useless initiative bump + talent slot

Agreed. In particular, paying points for I3 which lacks both blocking power of the lower initiatives and lacks much of the reposition benefits of the higher intitatives is the roughest spot. Adding the talent cost to the cost that you are already overpaying into the ship, and you are sinking points.

As to making point cost more for bullseye at higher initiatives, I would only increase the cost for I5 and I6 point. It is difficult to line up. It's easier to line up 5 TIE with Crack Shot.

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21 hours ago, Sciencius said:

Is the initiative system perfect?!? Yes it is! It is a very important element that establishes the whole "formation of grunts in a squardron" versus the "ace" (blocking spreading of arcs versus post-reposition).

I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying it's perfect*, but I agree, the initiative system is an important thematic part of X-Wing. X-Wing fundamentally is a game about ace pilots outflying generic nobodies, and including initiative as a core mechanic makes X-Wing what it is. The initiative system isn't something that you'd want in every game, but it is part of the DNA of x-wing, as decided by the design team. If this was a historical dogfighting game (like Wings of War) or a tactical skirmish game (like infinity) then it would make a lot more sense to use a different mechanic like alternating activations. Legion makes good use of this - commanders can have some sway, but the battlefield is so large that the bulk of the game is based on alternating activations.

*I think a wider spread of initiatives (like 1.0) makes things slightly better, as it leads to fewer game-slowing moments with multiple ships at the same initiative. I also would like to see all pre-move repositioning occur in the system phase, like decloaking, and I think the interaction between initiative and target locks needs work. I think punkuser suggested something along the lines of "all locks work like advanced sensors", which sounds like a good start - but that's not the topic of this thread!

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14 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

Ofc, I 4 pilots are aokay bullseyes as well since there are A LOT of good i 4 pilots and crackshot is cheap 

Indeed. Paying to kick up to Onyx, Saber, Rogue or Black (resistance) squadrons is fine, because jumping to I4 matters; enough unique pilots I see a lot of are I4 and equalling them is no small beer.

But going from I1/I2 to I3 doesn't feel worth it, and therefore, as you say, it's basically the 'surcharge' on talent upgrades.

Crack Shot is worth it for 1 point on a named pilot that I'd buy anyway for their pilot ability and who doesn't 'need' a particular talent upgrade to work.

It doesn't seem worth 5 points to upgrade a planetary sentinel to a black squadron scout and then buy them crack shot.

10 hours ago, 5050Saint said:

It's easier to line up 5 TIE with Crack Shot.

It's easy to get at least one bullseye with a swarm, although it's not easy to get multiple bullseyes. Whether one is good enough - depends on the bullseye effect, I guess. Still, a mob of Black Squadron Aces with Crack Shot in line abreast produces a nasty crossfire that I agree is hard for reposition-ey aces to evade entirely.

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5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It's easy to get at least one bullseye with a swarm, although it's not easy to get multiple bullseyes.

When I flew a Mining TIE Swarm + Fenn, I found that I typically got off all but one crack shot. I think it is mainly because you don't want your aces in precarious positions, and getting that bullseye would often doing that if you really wanted it, where as swarms are fine sitting in danger since they expect to get sacrificed.

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I would like to see the overall value of initiative reduced by making the simultaneous attack rule extend to the end of the turn, rather than end of initiative order.  You would still pay for repositioning and decision-making at the end of activation, but it would take the sting out of positioning well but still getting nuked by aces without an opportunity to return fire.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/21/2019 at 12:37 AM, Sciencius said:

And how well is that game doing?

As well as any game that neither founded a market nor is based on a major IP. (In the list of things that makes or breaks a game's sales, mechanics are far from the top.)

Quote

2) from a gameplay perspective it is important to have an element of "positional-reaction"

Many dogfighting games offer aces the equivalent of better dials, so they can be less predictable, or get into position faster, or escape bad spots more easily, all without allowing them to partially avoid the game's "commit to your maneuver in advance" foundation. It's also quite common, across most of the rules I've looked at, to let a fighter see an enemy's plotted move before plotting its own if it gets on that enemy's tail. It's something any pilot can do if you use your tactical skill to fly 'em right, not something you get every round if you pay more, or never if you don't.

Edited by Quarrel

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TL DR:

I got through most of the discussion but couldn't finish.

My response to the OP is, "Well, yeah.  Duh!"

It took me all of two seconds to figure this out when I read the "Bullseye" rules the first time.  It's also why I rarely, if ever, throw on a bullseye card on any of my ships.

Early on, I was a big fan of the B-Wing, but I'm not tossing on Heavy Laser Cannons (HLC), because the Bullseye firing arc with the Init 4 means that's seven (now four) Build Points that usually will go wasted in an encounter.

But my second response is that this is more of a feature of the game and not necessarily a defect.  If you have a good strategy for utilizing B-Wings with HLC's and you can figure out how to NOT waste those points, good for you!

 

But, now that HLC's are only four points . . . maybe?

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