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Nest of ‘Vipers at Worlds!

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Dang, dude. This is why I play at home and friendly games only. This guy is playing his list the way he wants to play it within the rules of the game and people don’t like it so they change the rules? Lame.

Congratulations, Mitch. You found a list you love and you play it well. That’s X-Wing, baby. Maneuvering for advantage is a central part of the game. I’m sorry that you have to deal with these poor sports.

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If a wargame ever has a situation where the strongest option for both players is to turtle and whoever engages on the opponent’s terms is at a disadvantage, I consider that a flaw in the game.

It turns things into a game of chicken about who is willing to perpetuate a boring game longer, and then whoever did the most to keep the game boring (by turtling longer) gets rewarded for it with a tactical advantage.

X-Wing’s tournament rules address this by just saying you can’t do it — they prohibit “intentionally stalling”, but they don’t define it (aside from fortressing).  So we’re left with a situation where there’s a prohibited behavior that can confer an advantage, but it’s poorly defined and can look very much like the careful maneuvering that’s exactly what the game encourages.

It’s not a great situation, and the only solutions I see are a clear definition or agreement on what the unacceptable behavior is (unlikely at best, if this thread is any indication) or a change to the game so that stalling/turtling can’t provide an advantage.

It’s not that big a deal in the scheme of things and is generally fine for casual play, but for competitive play I’d really appreciate it if FFG would clean up situations like this.

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1 hour ago, Hiemfire said:

I wondered if you guys were going to record again.

 

1 hour ago, Quack Shot said:

Yeah, with the baby it’s been hard. Now starting to go back to work more and have a handle on things. 

I would have figured Gabe moving cross-country would have put a damper on things as well. I encouraged him to stay on as a host since you guys record via Discord anyways.

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10 minutes ago, caelenvasius said:

 

I would have figured Gabe moving cross-country would have put a damper on things as well. I encouraged him to stay on as a host since you guys record via Discord anyways.

I think the 3 hr time difference might put a dampener on them doing that regularly.

@Quack Shot About half way through this episode. Sounds great so far. :) 

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I'm not in the competitive scene but really like this game and find the conversation interesting, so apologies if this has already been covered.

If Final Salvo was introduced to take away the option to intentionally draw, I'm curious if playing for a draw was a big problem before? I'd think if a win was worth sufficiently more tournament points than a draw, then it would only come up infrequently for paired players who've performed extremely well in previous rounds.

Assuming "no draws" is preferred, I've also heard mention of objective play as a solution but no specific objectives described, is there a thread discussing that and/or additional tie breaker options?

I could see having standard "objectives" that either earn points for the player or maybe just "tie breaker points" which only matter if they to resolve a draw. That sounds like a bunch of overhead just to track tie breakers but if you keep the "objectives" clean/intuitive the "tie breaker points" can just be tracked using a pile of shield or damage tokens or whatever.

Ideas for things to earn tiebreaker points that I think would encourage engaging:

- smaller bid? Seems likely to give an edge to the less elite squad or the loser of a bid war which I think is good?

- engaging with at least one ship (earned up to once per round per player)

- crossing the middle of the board with a ship (earned up to once per game)

 

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4 hours ago, DarthHenryAllen said:

I'm not in the competitive scene but really like this game and find the conversation interesting, so apologies if this has already been covered.

If Final Salvo was introduced to take away the option to intentionally draw, I'm curious if playing for a draw was a big problem before? I'd think if a win was worth sufficiently more tournament points than a draw, then it would only come up infrequently for paired players who've performed extremely well in previous rounds.

First, intentional draws suck.  They're really bad.  Second: it's not clear whether or not they're common enough to require solutions. 

Quad Starviper and other lists employing similar tactics may or may not be common enough to require intervention (but Quad Phantom was, although it got zapped hard in the points).

https://stayontheleader.blogspot.com/2016/04/you-cant-win-but-there-are-alternatives.html

Here's a great article with a bunch of folks around Magic: The Gathering discussing Intentional Draws.  Different game, but the principles will all apply.  There will be situations where two players--usually the two who've done the best in Swiss rounds--would do better if they draw rather than played and risked a loss.  They'd end a 5-round Swiss at 4-0-1, and finish better than someone who, say, lost early but won 4 straight, ending at 4-1-0.

Basically, so long as a draw is worth anything more than a loss, the best performing players will, under some common situations, have a bigger incentive to draw than play.

If a system is set up which encourages the best players to, at the end of a tournament, not play the game, that needs to be fixed.

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2 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

First, intentional draws suck.  They're really bad.  Second: it's not clear whether or not they're common enough to require solutions. 

Quad Starviper and other lists employing similar tactics may or may not be common enough to require intervention (but Quad Phantom was, although it got zapped hard in the points).

https://stayontheleader.blogspot.com/2016/04/you-cant-win-but-there-are-alternatives.html

Here's a great article with a bunch of folks around Magic: The Gathering discussing Intentional Draws.  Different game, but the principles will all apply.  There will be situations where two players--usually the two who've done the best in Swiss rounds--would do better if they draw rather than played and risked a loss.  They'd end a 5-round Swiss at 4-0-1, and finish better than someone who, say, lost early but won 4 straight, ending at 4-1-0.

Basically, so long as a draw is worth anything more than a loss, the best performing players will, under some common situations, have a bigger incentive to draw than play.

If a system is set up which encourages the best players to, at the end of a tournament, not play the game, that needs to be fixed.

That is pretty convincing that draws are bad! The suggestion in the comments of awarding draws 0 points, losses 1 and wins 3 was interesting though unintuitive.

I wonder if it would work to just keep Final Salvo, but you only get to use it if you've crossed some point threshold (33? 50?). Otherwise both players just lose. So no draws on tie scores, you either get a loss or a Final Salvo if you actually did enough damage to each other in game.

Good read, thanks!

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It’s trivial to amend the rules to ban intentional draws. There’s only two ways that players can ID really and that is to either fly all ships off the board turn one, or circle the mat for 75 minutes. If you legislate to prevent those things from happening then an ID can’t occur. 
 

don’t forget that collusion is already against the rules. So an ID by default leads to players being DQ. 

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One way to resolve both draws (instead of Final Salvo) and stalling would be to add tournament points for destroying enemy ships.  For example:

Win - 3 TP
Draw - 1 TP
Destroy at least 100 points - 1 TP
Destroy all 200 points - 1 TP

So you could end up with TP scores of 1-1 (0-0 draw), 5-0 (200-0 victory), 3-0 (50-0 victory), 4-1 (150-120 victory), or even 3-3 (200-200 draw).

A draw is worth something, but 4-0-1 (with no points destroyed on the draw) wouldn’t put you ahead of the 4-1-0 pack, so there’s no incentive to intentionally draw.

Stalling could still hurt your opponent, but it hurts you, too (because a later engagement likely means fewer points destroyed).  Not a perfect solution there...

Of course, something like that would have other major effects on the game.  Cagey or slow play in general gets penalized.  Aces getting ahead on points and running away becomes less viable.  And it doesn’t solve anything during elimination rounds.

Definitely some issues with it, but I think it would be interesting to try out.

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I think Final Salvo implementation points out what is wrong with the game, and I just mean in general. FS was introduced to combat ID's, that worked. Now a little bit later people list build around boosting their chance to win FS, nothing wrong with that. The next issue for FFG is how to combat playing to FS, it is the same as playing to ID IMO, but I could be 100% wrong.  FS is not bad in general, it is just bad in scenarios like this when an opposing player is behind a few 8 balls and puts the other player at an advantage. 

What ever FFG come up with, the players will work out how to game it and play around it.

Edited by Archangelspiv

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4 hours ago, Dreadai said:

It’s trivial to amend the rules to ban intentional draws. There’s only two ways that players can ID really and that is to either fly all ships off the board turn one, or circle the mat for 75 minutes. If you legislate to prevent those things from happening then an ID can’t occur. 
 

don’t forget that collusion is already against the rules. So an ID by default leads to players being DQ. 

Well, now there's essentially no way to draw.

But depending on the rules of game, it's not always enough to say "you can't do it."  MTG typically had a best 2 out of 3 format, and a 1-1 that goes to time is a draw, then it gets put on the judges to decide if it was intentional or not.  That becomes a mediocre solution to a bad problem.  It isn't always enough to simply declare a ban on it.

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@kerbarian : the issue with point destroyed giving TP is that it increases the pairing luck factor. 

You want to reward a close win between two high skill players the same as a landslide victory of a high skill player versus a low skill player. Otherwise initial matchups can determine the outcome of the tournament. 

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1 hour ago, Chumbalaya said:

Intentional Draws are better than Not-Fortressing Stalling because they don't waste someone's time and don't construct the pretense of a game being played.

Better for whom?

Not better for the players on the bubble who played the game honestly, but due to an early rather than a late loss get locked out of the cut by players taking draws.

2 minutes ago, Chumbalaya said:

IDs are fine, stalling is not.

They really aren't.

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