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DerBaer

[RIAST] Designer Journal

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1 hour ago, ricope said:

Unsure if this has already been thought of, but these are my go-to posts whenever I try to make any houserules or adjustments or new units, imo all of them have already done some amazing analysis on units:

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/250722-grand-tier-list-for-ia-skirmish-to-be-updated-as-new-waves-emerge/

I use that one a lot. In some cases, I disagree a little bit. But overall it is a very good approach. 

 

1 hour ago, ricope said:

and I use http://mattyellen.github.io/imperial-assault-calculator/ for damage calculations 

some abilities could be tricky to figure out with the damage calculator however (ex. eStorm's reroll means their power curve is probably higher but Farmboy Luke's reroll buff would be a lot tougher to measure)

I use that one A LOT. But you are right, rerolls, Deadly and some other Abilities don't really work here, so I do my own calculations, too. 

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On 9/10/2019 at 8:20 AM, robertpolson said:

I appreciate the effort that you have put into this. However, it seems to me that the community will benefit best from RIAST and Continuity Projects working together in one direction rather than splitting into two schools of thought.

Yeah, I understand that for whatever reason you couldn't work with them or whatever (details don't matter and I'm not blaming anyone) but it's confusing to have two different, yet (in some ways) similar skirmish fixing projects at the same time.  I really think this will make people less interested in getting involved with either.  I'm sure you've done good work and I appreciate your designer journals idea but I can't keep the actual FFG IA stuff, plus the IACP stuff AND RIAST stuff straight.  Too much (for me at least). 

Is there no way you can try again?  Be involved with the IACP stuff?  I feel like if we were all on board with something (the same) it would really help.  We just need to commit to one even if it is not perfectly to our liking.  I mean, there was tons of official stuff we complained about but we all agreed to play by those rules. 

Anyway, not trying to offend anyone.  I like some of your ideas! 

What would be best, would be if FFG somehow "officially sanctioned" one of these community initiatives and just gave the players the reigns.  Like an official FFG app that we could somehow all periodically vote on.

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1 hour ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

Yeah, I understand that for whatever reason you couldn't work with them or whatever (details don't matter and I'm not blaming anyone) but it's confusing to have two different, yet (in some ways) similar skirmish fixing projects at the same time.  I really think this will make people less interested in getting involved with either.  I'm sure you've done good work and I appreciate your designer journals idea but I can't keep the actual FFG IA stuff, plus the IACP stuff AND RIAST stuff straight.  Too much (for me at least). 

Is there no way you can try again?  Be involved with the IACP stuff?  I feel like if we were all on board with something (the same) it would really help.  We just need to commit to one even if it is not perfectly to our liking.  I mean, there was tons of official stuff we complained about but we all agreed to play by those rules. 

Anyway, not trying to offend anyone.  I like some of your ideas! 

What would be best, would be if FFG somehow "officially sanctioned" one of these community initiatives and just gave the players the reigns.  Like an official FFG app that we could somehow all periodically vote on.

That's not the first time this has happened to a beloved game which no longer is officially supported or grown. More than one project with the mission statement of a community-driven continuation of the game pops up - some global, others more local - then each claims to be the better, or most accepted, or the one with the most events, or whatever in order to seek validation and justification. The game has no single standard anymore, which is the worst thing to happen with regards to keeping players who already own it, not even speaking about winning new players over. In the end we have to face the fact - as with all online 'communities' - that we're mostly a bunch of egos, formerly held in check by an official standard.

Edited by Fourtytwo

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RIAST is made by and for the German community. I just wanted to share our thoughts. 

3 hours ago, Fourtytwo said:

More than one project with the mission statement of a community-driven continuation of the game pops up - some global, others more local - then each claims to be the better, or most accepted, or the one with the most events, or whatever in order to seek validation and justification. 

That wasn't my intention. I'm not trying to say "RIAST is better." We are using RIAST here in Germany. The IACP isn't even widely known here, because many people in the German community are not on this forum, or at least not as often as I am. 

I just wanted to share our thoughts (and maybe get some ideas). 

5 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

Is there no way you can try again?  Be involved with the IACP stuff?  I feel like if we were all on board with something (the same) it would really help.  We just need to commit to one even if it is not perfectly to our liking.  

The biggest difference between IACP and RIAST is the reference points. 

IACP uses (as far as I remember) the Hunter meta as a reference. RIAST uses the regular Stormtroopers as the low baseline and the elite Stormtroopers as a reference. 

RIAST had to nerf some cards (eWeequays, eJets, RCP, ...) to make this possible, and this is something the IACP doesn't want to do. 

The IACP has to buff a lot more units to make them playable. Their eStormtroopers are already at 7 points, their regular Stormtroopers are unplayable. 

The reference points and baselines define your approach. At that point, there is no possible compromise. The approaches are too different. To join forces, either IACP or RIAST would have to accept the other project's approach and get rid of its own approach. 

I'm sure, the IACP has good reasons for their approach. But in my opinion it just doesn't work. It contradicts Occam's razor. RIAST nerfed a handful of overpowered units and made lots of figures playable that way. IACP doesn't want to nerf this handful of units and therefore has to buff lots of figures. Occam's razor says that when presented with competing hypotheses (IACP and RIAST) that make the same predictions (community driven IA), one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions (changes to units). Maybe, I like Occam to much, to like the IACP approach. But that's just my opinion. 

But instead of me (us) trying again to get involved in the IACP (something I already tried and know does not work for me), I would like to sincerely invite everyone at the IACP to join the RIAST team instead. 

Edited by DerBaer

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53 minutes ago, DerBaer said:

RIAST is made by and for the German community. I just wanted to share our thoughts. 

That wasn't my intention. We are using RIAST here in Germany. The IACP isn't even widely known here, because many people in the German community are not on this forum, or at least not as often as I am. 

I just wanted to share our thoughts (and maybe get some ideas). 

The biggest difference between IACP and RIAST is the reference points. 

IACP uses (as far as I remember) the Hunter meta as a reference. RIAST uses the regular Stormtroopers as the low baseline and the elite Stormtroopers as a reference. 

RIAST had to nerf some cards (eWeequays, eJets, RCP, ...) to make this possible, and this is something the IACP doesn't want to do. 

The IACP has to buff a lot more units to make them playable. Their eStormtroopers are already at 7 points, their regular Stormtroopers are unplayable. 

The reference points and baselines define your approach. At that point, there is no possible compromise. The approaches are too different. To join forces, either IACP or RIAST would have to accept the other project's approach and get rid of its own approach. 

I'm sure, the IACP has good reasons for their approach. But in my opinion it just doesn't work. It contradicts Occam's razor. RIAST nerfed a handful of overpowered units and made lots of figures playable that way. IACP doesn't want to nerf this handful of units and therefore has to buff lots of figures. Occam's razor says that when presented with competing hypotheses (IACP and RIAST) that make the same predictions (community driven IA), one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions (changes to units). Maybe, I like Occam to much, to like the IACP approach. But that's just my opinion. 

But instead of me (us) trying again to get involved in the IACP (something I already tried and know does not work for me), I would like to sincerely invite everyone at the IACP to join the RIAST team instead. 

That was my biggest frustration with IACP: the power curve, all else being equal I'd much rather see a blanket-nerf or even blanket-ban than a blanket-buff, this is because you get a lot more freedom in tweaking a weaker figure who's expected to do perhaps ~2dmg on average than someone that can do say ~5dmg on average

with the former we can start to discuss recosts, ability tweaks... but with the latter some units are flat out unplayable regardless how cheap they are, because they'd just get one-shotted = they need to be ridiculously overpowered so that the player can get it's worth before it gets one-shotted and before we know it we'd need figures like 30HP to not be one-shotted

I do acknowledge the flaw in my argument is the time limit: in a real tournament you usually even won't get to 40VP but my argument to that was playing until the end is the "true" ending and should take priority. For example, at 30min you might win 22VP : 18VP but at 55min you'd lose at 28VP : 30VP, but if you continued you'd win 41VP : 35VP at 75min. This isn't an issue in casual FLGS games but in a tournament setting you won't even get to see the victory 41:35 result and you'd be ruled as loss 28:30, even though the "true" outcome is that you've won 41:35

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I'll start by saying that I am not involved in either project, but I am a bit committed to contributing to the UK scene through content production and organized play following FFG's final season. For us to commit to something fully, I would really like to see global support which converges to things like euros and world championships and am looking forward to seeing what both RIAST and IACP have planned there. Some plan for promos etc would also be neat. The reality is that the odds of me travelling to Germany for a casual tournament or even nationals is probably zero, but if there was a global RIAST scene where national champs got byes and event fees waived etc then I could be interested.

 

Combining the two systems is a fairly hard sell for me, quite a lot of people have participated in very open testing leagues with a lot of transparent feedback and statistics for IACP at this point - a couple of seasons of them with some very high profile international players involved in all parts of it. I don't know all the inner workings going on but honestly I don't think its POSSIBLE for IACP to adopt many of the RIAST ideas because no single person on the committee should have that level of power. In fact I may be annoyed if the immense amount of community work I've seen go into it (and the infrastructure built for testing leagues and open feedback collection) is simply thrown away as a sacrifice in an effort to merge into any other ruleset. 


Also, as you said, RIAST is very selectively representative of the German community and I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to meet many of them at international events so far so I simply don't know the size/dedication we could be working with other than from what I've seen on your posts. It doesn't sound like you're running a one man show but I'm not sure how to engage with the rest of your team - I'd like to hear a bit more regarding how continuous future updates, new deployments, and organized play events will work. Is there a good plan to replace yourself and whoever else are key contributors if other things take priority in your life?

 

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We already made alt. art Cards and a trophy for our German nationals. We absolutely will continue that. And I would love to support others by sending them cards and trophies for their events. But I have to say: These cards are RIAST cards. They will not be usable in non-RIAST games. If you need anything, just PM me. 

There will be no champion byes, because we decided against it for event organizational reasons. But I actually like the idea to give champions free event tickets. 

Because this year there still are official European Championships, we don't plan any event of that size this year. But I would love to do so next year. This actually is one reason to share all this here, to become more international. 

Everything we did before I posted RIAST here, was done on a German forum (German language). https://www.moseisleyraumhafen.com/f113-imperial-assault-balanced-skirmish-tournament-rules

Edited by DerBaer

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Something I was thinking about, in terms of your Occam's Razer comment is that I 100% agree there. In fact I agree so much that I believe lists made from purely FFG original product lists should always be legal so that if a new player comes in they can start to participate without having to deal with a massive wall of text, printing cards, and learning new rules changes (at least within their own list!).

From what I saw in the diary it looks to me like you've implemented some pretty big nerfs and bans - would this still be possible?. The baseline has been reverted to the trooper meta (which I actually really disliked... jabba's realm more or less fixed the game for me) so I suppose anything from the later half of the game's lifetime would be overpowered. Would you say that RIAST and vanilla IA is still compatible at all? From an initial readthrough it sounds more or less like you are moving towards being a different game by changing some core rules and fundamental mechanics, which I would argue takes you much farther away from FFG IA than I would expect given the minimalist philosophy.

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1 hour ago, penguizaur said:

The baseline has been reverted to the trooper meta (which I actually really disliked... jabba's realm more or less fixed the game for me) so I suppose anything from the later half of the game's lifetime would be overpowered. 

Oh no, it's not that many nerfs and bans. 

Made more expensive: Vinto, Greedo, eWeequays, AT-DP, eJets

Banned:

- On the Lam
- Devious Scheme
- Rebel Graffiti
- I make my own Luck
- Take Initiative

Interestingly, playtesters reported today, that Vinto, Greedo, AT-DP and the eJets are not as overpowered as they used to be, because of the other changes. So probably we'll undo their prisce increases. 

So most lists would still be playable, but you would have to read the rules before your first game. Worst case: Your army would not be as powerful as you thought. 

Edited by DerBaer

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2 hours ago, penguizaur said:

From what I saw in the diary it looks to me like you've implemented some pretty big nerfs and bans - would this still be possible?. The baseline has been reverted to the trooper meta (which I actually really disliked... jabba's realm more or less fixed the game for me) so I suppose anything from the later half of the game's lifetime would be overpowered. Would you say that RIAST and vanilla IA is still compatible at all? From an initial readthrough it sounds more or less like you are moving towards being a different game by changing some core rules and fundamental mechanics, which I would argue takes you much farther away from FFG IA than I would expect given the minimalist philosophy.

To defend both IACP and RIAST here: Changes breathe life into the game.

Vanilla IA Skirmish is now a static product. One could play vanilla IA for a long time casually, and if folks wish to do so there's nothing wrong with that. However, the meta of vanilla IA isn't going to change: eventually players will find 2 or 3 lists that are the strongest in vanilla IA and play those when they really want to win; and those lists will never change, since FFG is no longer producing new physical content. And even in a casual setting, players will finally play each army list they might find interesting to the point where the game no longer holds their attention.

In order for the game to stay alive, changes have to be made to the game. This includes modifying existing cards or rules, creating new cards or rules and restricting or removing cards or rules. Each change increases the distance from that project from vanilla IA... and yes, increases the barrier of entry for players wanting to transition from vanilla IA into one of the project's metas.

For IACP, we feel that the reward for that barrier of entry is a game that is fun, fresh and worthy of your time: 

  • A gradual increase in Deployments that were not competitive in vanilla IA that are now competitive. In Season 2, we've made new Elite cards for 3 more of the Rebel heroes found in the Core Set, which opens up new list building opportunities. We've reduced the costs for several Deployments, which alone makes some of them competitive and sets the others up for improvements later. We've created Skirmish Upgrades that empower whole groups of Deployments of a single trait (Troopers) or figure type (Massive Vehicles).
  • Continued support the Skirmish meta established by Jabba's Realm and content made since. With the exception of two tweaks to Command cards (On the Lam and Assassinate), the power level of current top-tier lists from the current FFG OP/vanilla IA is the same in IACP. Han/Rangers, Parting Blow Vader, Merc Hunters and VP Manipulation lists stay top-tier in IACP.
  • A commitment to extending the game with new cards and figures. Deployments for iconic Star Wars characters will be tested and balanced publicly and then approved by community vote. Using these new Deployments will inspire creativity in the players, not just in how the character is represented on the map but also in list building and play styles. 
  • Support for competitive physical Organized Play events. Currently we have two events in November (2019 Walker Classic and Home Base Games Expo) using the IACP Official Changes for their Skirmish tournaments. Soon we will be announcing our plans for IACP Organized Play, that will start once FFG OP has finished running Skirmish events.
  • Continued support for casual and competitive online play. The Vassal IA Skirmish module is constantly updated with IACP Approved changes & playtesting content from the most current Season. The IACP Challonge community currently runs playtesting leagues but will be expanding to one-day tournament events and competitive-level events or leagues.
  • Involvement with a community of IACP players, who share a love for Skirmish with their desire to help keep changing the game. Some players are actively involved playtesting feedback and submitting designs for future Season content. Other players are forming a competitive meta around the IACP Approved changes and looking to test themselves versus other skilled opponents. 

RIAST offers similar rewards if you become involved in @DerBaer's project. I'll let him speak to those.

Edited by cnemmick

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2 hours ago, penguizaur said:

The baseline has been reverted to the trooper meta (which I actually really disliked... jabba's realm more or less fixed the game for me) 

The Trooper Meta was boring as ****, because you either played Troopers or lost, because the Troopers were overpowered. When everything is in balance with the Troopers, this should not be a problem anymore. 

Scoring units, not figures was a problem, that favored Troopers. We will not go back to that. And Reinforcements was nerfed that way to. 

We use Troopers as a reference, but we don't want to go back to the trooper meta. 

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11 minutes ago, cnemmick said:

RIAST offers similar rewards if you become involved in @DerBaer's project. I'll let him speak to those.

Actually, most of what you said is true for IA as well. Except for the basic approach to rebalancing, IACP and RIAST are not that different. 

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I don't know that I'd call these RIAST changes minimalist, really.  Changes to the way initiative works, or to how buffs only affect your faction, or to SoS/Blaze, or killing On the Lam, or removing various traits and abilities from figures - these have a pretty significant impact on how the game works on the whole.  As penguizaur said, you can't really take a list from vanilla IA and sit down at a table and expect everything to work the same way (and chances are that list won't even be legal)

With that said, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, either.  Like cnnemmick said, the official FFG version is dead.  If nothing changes, then we're just going to see the same old lists making the same old plays until interest goes away completely.

 

 

I guess to me, it seems as though the two systems are taking fundamentally different approaches.  At the beginning of DerBear's post he says that one of the main goals of RIAST is to make as many figures playable as possible.  I think RIAST is doing a good job of that, and I would agree that increasing the costs of some figures is probably the easiest way.   The rules changes also make a given game more predictable and less swingy, particularly by removing Lam and all of initiative plays.  It changes the game from what it is currently but it does breathe a lot of new life into old plastic.

 

My sense of the IACP, on the other hand, is that they're more interested in taking the game as it is now and continuing to introduce new content (so far they've had new deployment cards for old characters, new attachments, and simple cost changes) that will keep the meta evolving going forward, but without removing anything that players are currently using.  For better or worse this is closer to the FFG approach, had FFG actually kept up support for the game.

 

Now personally, I really like the current game (crazy initiative swings and all) and I lean towards the latter approach as being more fun for me.  If I've found a fun list that I love playing I want to be able to keep using it without worrying about something facing the banhammer (I don't know if anybody was watching the recent results from the US nationals at Nova, but the runner up list was a really awesome and creative Han/Leia/MHD box that wouldn't have been viable without On the Lam).  I'm also coming around to the idea of having completely new content released - even if we could get everything in the current game perfectly balanced, even that meta is eventually going to get stale if nothing ever changes.

I'm not saying that everyone will or should agree with me - I'm sure there's probably a lot of support for banning take and having a less swingy game - but I do think that it's probably true that the two approaches are too far apart at this point to really come together.

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22 minutes ago, ManateeX said:

I'm also coming around to the idea of having completely new content released - even if we could get everything in the current game perfectly balanced, even that meta is eventually going to get stale if nothing ever changes.

I agree completely. RIAST has plans for that, too. 

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The thing is, we are in essence playing like one forth of the game or maybe even less when we play competitively. Even less for the command cards I would say. By doing things in a simplistic way by mainly approaching the figure costs we get a game that will be fresh for a long time actually playing with the figures that we have and still being very easy to maintain. It is also responsive. If a card is recosted to be too powerful, simply modify the cost. Then my team of evil trandosians can go up agains your droid squad, the ATST can attack backed up by E-webs and Gaarkhan can charge into you from far out.  

Then after that I feel we should look into maps and missions; How do we design missions that are better ballanced then the ones we have today? 

And when the game after this still feels stale after a (long) time, then we go into designing new cards. 

My 2 cents.

Edited by Ram

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1 hour ago, DerBaer said:

Yes, you're right. But I'm just saying Zuckuss, 4-LOM, Scout Troopers ... 

Yes, but that is something that this community should pester FFG about. We are missing some key pieces. I have been rooting for an Endor set for a long long time now. Scouts, Yoda, missing bounty hunters (yes, out of theme but I really dont care), Boba fix and a few more. I can proxy cards if I must but proxuing minis... I just cant do it! I have almost everything from my last addiction of SW miniatures, but I just cant bring them to the table...

Edited by Ram

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1 hour ago, Ram said:

Yes, but that is something that this community should pester FFG about. We are missing some key pieces. I have been rooting for an Endor set for a long long time now. Scouts, Yoda, missing bounty hunters (yes, out of theme but I really dont care), Boba fix and a few more. I can proxy cards if I must but proxuing minis... I just cant do it! I have almost everything from my last addiction of SW miniatures, but I just cant bring them to the table...

Unfortunately, FFG is officially done.  As a community I think we did all of the pestering that we can do leading up to the Andrew Navarro AMA that they held a few weeks back; there were dozens of IA-related questions and they were leaps and bounds more popular than the other games'.  Even with all that, the answer was that, for "business reasons", they consider IA to be a complete product and they won't be doing any more releases.  They wouldn't even entertain ideas like putting IA cards in Legion packs.

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Well, I have seen sooo many desicions being reverted by high public demands. I wish they would offer up one more expansion via kickstarter or similar. Then we can all see how big the support for IA really is. 

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1 hour ago, Ram said:

Well, I have seen sooo many desicions being reverted by high public demands. I wish they would offer up one more expansion via kickstarter or similar. Then we can all see how big the support for IA really is. 

I don't mean to pile on here... but questions about Imperial Assault were the most asked and most liked in the FFG post asking for questions for the AMA. I think they're aware that support is big for IA. Despite that, "business reasons" are still more important. (To be clear, I'm not trying to belittle FFG here; if this product is well supported and they know it will sell, whatever is getting in the way of them spending a little money to make a lot more money is pretty significant.)

I'd be willing to put my name down for a petition imploring FFG to create an Endor box and we would buy a copy if you want to create one. I would love to see how many of us would commit to that.

Edited by cnemmick

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7 hours ago, Ram said:

Yes, but that is something that this community should pester FFG about. We are missing some key pieces. I have been rooting for an Endor set for a long long time now. Scouts, Yoda, missing bounty hunters (yes, out of theme but I really dont care), Boba fix and a few more. I can proxy cards if I must but proxuing minis... I just cant do it! I have almost everything from my last addiction of SW miniatures, but I just cant bring them to the table...

Check this: 

Ewoks: 

https://www.shapeways.com/product/58KZBMH6D/ia-ewok-3?optionId=89380607

https://www.shapeways.com/product/C3NS8GW8B/ia-ewok-1?optionId=89380628

Tauntaun Rider:

https://www.shapeways.com/product/YD685HAN8/ia-tauntaun-trooper?optionId=89375950

Zuckuss:

https://www.shapeways.com/product/CUJKA2X29/ia-zuckuss?optionId=89375031

4-LOM: 

https://www.shapeways.com/product/D4GHQXV67/ia-4-lom?optionId=89372689

Scouts: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/star-wars-legion/products/scout-troopers-unit-expansion/

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18 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

Also the WOTC Star Wars miniatures game has a good Zuckuss, 4 LOM, Yoda, and Tauntaun figures.  

WotC minis are not in scale with the IA minis. I have all but 4LOM, have tried them and my mental acceptance firewall rejected them. :(

 

Edited by Ram

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