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Kaptin Krunch

High Initiative, Passive/Easy Double Mods, and 'Aces"- Problems of a Devolving Meta

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1 hour ago, Frimmel said:

Zeta Sqd SFs -- token taking action with white rotate so -- free action. Ship is one of only four in the faction and one of those has a force user. 

A lot of folks flying Zetas don't use the rotate, since they'll be without upgrades or Advanced Optics, and just leave the turret arc fixed rear.  To say "oh, TIE/sfs are doing free actions" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the TIE/sf.

//

Overall, looks like close to half the top lists in recent major tournaments have had generics in them.  That's pretty good.  Could balance use a tap?  A touch better for generics, a touch worse for high-init force?  Sure.

But there's such excessive doom and gloom and goal-post moving.

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1 minute ago, theBitterFig said:

A lot of folks flying Zetas don't use the rotate, since they'll be without upgrades or Advanced Optics, and just leave the turret arc fixed rear.  To say "oh, TIE/sfs are doing free actions" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the TIE/sf.

TIE SF's have all their actions linked to white rotate. Anyone else get an action linked to a white rotate? Went up against three of them with concussion missiles with Hux in a high I shuttle. What was the phrasing earlier, "Too little consequence" I think it was.  

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9 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

TIE SF's have all their actions linked to white rotate. Anyone else get an action linked to a white rotate? Went up against three of them with concussion missiles with Hux in a high I shuttle. What was the phrasing earlier, "Too little consequence" I think it was.  

Maybe fly better and go after the actionless shuttle?

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This is a hilarious popcorn thread. All these people who seem to know very little about metas in general or the current game state in particular just keep going off about their personal preferences, gripes, and transient problems that are likely to be fixed in 2 months anyway.

I'll be coming back here for a good laugh once in a while.

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1 hour ago, Frimmel said:

TIE SF's have all their actions linked to white rotate. Anyone else get an action linked to a white rotate? Went up against three of them with concussion missiles with Hux in a high I shuttle. What was the phrasing earlier, "Too little consequence" I think it was.  

Imagine the TIE/SF was just a rear arc all the time, like the ARC, or the SF in 1.0. Does the ARC just have infinite rotate actions?

The answer is Actions per turn is a stupid metric.

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1 hour ago, Frimmel said:

TIE SF's have all their actions linked to white rotate. Anyone else get an action linked to a white rotate? Went up against three of them with concussion missiles with Hux in a high I shuttle. What was the phrasing earlier, "Too little consequence" I think it was.  

That's pretty much the only TIE/sf you'd ever go up against that ever used that white rotate.

11 minutes ago, Kaptin Krunch said:

Imagine the TIE/SF was just a rear arc all the time, like the ARC, or the SF in 1.0. Does the ARC just have infinite rotate actions?

This.  For most popular builds, TIE/sf is just a rear-arc ship like an ARC or Firespray.

11 minutes ago, Kaptin Krunch said:

The answer is Actions per turn is a stupid metric.

Or at least, like other metrics, it needs to be tempered with understanding.

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6 minutes ago, brownj23 said:

except if you get blocked you no longer have a rear arc due to not being able to rotate.......

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The SF naturally has two primaries, so it's just a double arc ship unless you care about the turret (for missiles and SF gunner)

Set the turret to your butt, your primary doesn't go anywhere; mini-Arc!

I missed this too until it was pointed out to me 

Edited by ficklegreendice

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1 minute ago, brownj23 said:

except if you get blocked you no longer have a rear arc due to not being able to rotate.......

Missing the point.  Most TIE/sf will just put the turret backwards at the start of the game and never move it.  Being blocked and unable to flip it doesn't matter, if you intend to *never flip the turret*.

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2 minutes ago, brownj23 said:

except if you get blocked you no longer have a rear arc due to not being able to rotate.......

Keep in mind the best SF builds dont use gunner. None of them besides quickdraw do anything besides keep their arc backwards from the beginning to end of a game.

Naked Zetas, Crack Optics Experts, optics Zetas, Fanatical Backdraft, gunner quickdraw.  Those are the relevant builds right now. Possibly gunner experts but those are pretty rare and maybe questionable, dunno. Only QD ever rotates its arc basically.

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Honestly, while there are a bit too many force users for my liking, 2nd edition is still sailing **way** over 1st Ed

I know some folks are claiming that ffg broke their promise re: reigning in passive mods, to which I say "everything is relative" (aka, "lol no")

Plus, the recent additions (mainly to the prequel/sequel factions) are all very promising imo in that their mods are predicated on positioning rather than a purple number. Hopefully, the pilot packs deliver more like PA Nien Nub and the like. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Naked Zetas, Crack Optics Experts, optics Zetas, Fanatical Backdraft, gunner quickdraw.  Those are the relevant builds right now. Possibly gunner experts but those are pretty rare and maybe questionable, dunno. Only QD ever rotates its arc basically.

The Passive Sensors/Missile Zeta is kind of an up-and-coming build.  Not as common as Optics Experts, but more than I'd have figured.

http://advancedtargeting.computer/pilot.html?pilot=zetasquadronsurvivor

http://meta.listfortress.com/pilots/279?ranking_start=2019-07-10&ranking_end=2019-11-20&large_tournament_multiplier=true&widespread_use_multiplier=true&use_ranking_data=all&tournament_type=&format_id=&

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Pretty much the zetas best feature is the fact that it gets a rear arc for cheap and just needs to focus and throw 2 dice to put pressure on alot of things. Larger numbers of SFs, or just adding Optics makes it a little more reliable. Investing pts in them is kinda a slippery slope towards just making them worse though. The concussion missile might do just enough to flip the script on jousts that aces typically win but thats highly questionable from my testing and depends a good deal on lack of player skill.

The naked zeta SFs usefulness actually is a clear indicator to me that we have serious balance issues with mobile aces and costs of ace or filler ace multi arc ships. 5 Rz2as consistent relevance also indicates somethings off. A 32 pt zeta seems like a more logical choice to use compared to some similarly costed forward arc ships. Largely because of the type of block/rock/stress resistant aces lists and mobile turrets that are already out there. 

So many really interesting but ultimately bad forward arc ships in that 30-40 pt range that need real point cost reductions or an increases to other stuff thats just mechanically better. Some upgrades help close that gap a little bit. Crackshot being one of them, its massively vital to allow forward arc limited mobility ships to function against passive token stacks. Without it you often see very little reward for landing predicted blocks or multi turn kill box setup. Even with it you still get very little pay off for fully and completely out playing your opponent or running into one that opts into out playing themselves. I fully expect crackshot will go up in cost for the low/mid init forward arc ships that depend on it the most in Jan without drastic changes to higher init passive mobile aces. 
 

I dont think enough players understand that in game counter play options against aces moving last are a legitimate source of balance when the mechanics available to aces dont subvert them. I am not strictly talking about pure jousting lists like Sear Swarm or Howl Swarm either. There is also a general misconception that a full joust or fortress joust is the only ways to use cheap forward arc ships. Leads to a general acceptance that AOE and control mechanism are the best path forward, which just reenforces further the acceptance of extra mobility passive mod aces.

Edited by Boom Owl

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Eh, I think the two arc small bases are fine

Reason being, you actually get to fly in ways that a repositioning ace might not be trivially be able to dodge! You actually get to fly in ways that isn't just pushing up a shuffleboard and rolling dice!!

SF and rz-2's being viable is a good thing, especially at lower I where their manueverability is useful but not trivially exploited 

The forward-arc-only-and-not-much-else stuff really can't get much better before it's steamrolling like drone swarms. Even then, though, Drones are FAR more interesting than most jousters thanks to Networked 

Edited by ficklegreendice

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49 minutes ago, ficklegreendice said:

 

The forward-arc-only-and-not-much-else stuff really can't get much better before it's steamrolling like drone swarms. Even then, though, Drones are FAR more interesting than most jousters thanks to Networked

This kinda is my point. Forward arc ships have more options against aces than people realize. Its not just about jousts and steam rolling. Theres alot more in game counter play thats possible without having to lean on turrets to do it. Just have to better balance the aces to not be resistant to the specific counter play mechanics that exist. Since most aces have built in ways to ignore those vulnerabilities I agree Turrets are necessary. Doesnt have to be that way though. Turrets could just be neat flavor rather than mechanical sources of balance. 

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2 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

Pretty much the zetas best feature is the fact that it gets a rear arc for cheap and just needs to focus and throw 2 dice to put pressure on alot of things. Larger numbers of SFs, or just adding Optics makes it a little more reliable. Investing pts in them is kinda a slippery slope towards just making them worse though. The concussion missile might do just enough to flip the script on jousts that aces typically win but thats highly questionable from my testing and depends a good deal on lack of player skill.

Yeah, I'm not fully convinced by Passive Sensor Missiles (and not always Concussion... I saw a squad running 1 Conc, 1 Ion, apparently to save points).  However, it does seem to be something a reasonable number of folks are doing, and perhaps worth keeping an eye on.  That's all.

2 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

The naked zeta SFs usefulness actually is a clear indicator to me that we have serious balance issues with mobile aces and costs of ace or filler ace multi arc ships. 5 Rz2as consistent relevance also indicates somethings off. A 32 pt zeta seems like a more logical choice to use compared to some similarly costed forward arc ships. Largely because of the type of block/rock/stress resistant aces lists and mobile turrets that are already out there. 

I think I'm with @ficklegreendice that the SF and RZ-2 are pretty much fine, but yeah, their strength probably does indicate a broader issue.

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5 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

The SF naturally has two primaries, so it's just a double arc ship unless you care about the turret (for missiles and SF gunner)

Set the turret to your butt, your primary doesn't go anywhere; mini-Arc!

I missed this too until it was pointed out to me 

But,

5 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

That is what I was expecting when they and PS were revealed. Being able to shoot missiles backwards as well and almost inconsequently being able to mod your shot and rotate the arc is powerful. And imho is one of the reasons why FFG is pretty wary of releasing powerful missiles.

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2 minutes ago, Managarmr said:

That is what I was expecting when they and PS were revealed. Being able to shoot missiles backwards as well and almost inconsequently being able to mod your shot and rotate the arc is powerful. And imho is one of the reasons why FFG is pretty wary of releasing powerful missiles.

My issue with the missile builds is... I think they're worse than the Gunner builds?

Maybe I'm just wrong and caught up in my own biases.  But I like the unlimited ammo, and I think the potential of 4 dice shots at Range 1 is very good.  I don't think it's too hard to know when you'll need to flip your turret front or back.  Missiles are cheaper, but it's only 1 point cheaper for Concussion Missiles, 2 for Homing or Concussion, 3 for Ion.  I guess in some lists, those points will matter.  Kylo, for example, won't fit into a list with 3 Gunner Zetas.

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On 11/19/2019 at 3:42 PM, ClassicalMoser said:

I think what we have in X-Wing is a great way to use our miniatures. The mechanics are quite sound.

That said, the objective of the competitive game is more or less brainless. "Kill more of them while they kill less of you" is about the least interesting, least storytelling objective you can have in a combat game. FFG's dependence on squad points for scoring is a major crutch and will always be something I'll gripe about. Adding objectives to squad points somehow makes it even worse in my mind. I think squad-point-based victory should be removed from the game and competitive scene entirely.

I understand the objectives some have to certain objective formats, but I do think that it's a concept that could work and would make both casual and competitive play more interesting by demanding a wider variety of functions for any given team.

I think the recently-released Marvel: Crisis Protocol has a pretty stellar model for this. Each player brings two objectives (one of each of two different types) and one player chooses whether to use their own of type A or their own of type B. The other must be the opponent's. The two objective types are a "Secure" and an "Extraction" objective. In other words, one of them is "Be in xyz locations" and the other is "accomplish xyz tasks." There are ways to translate that to X-Wing, some of which could involve more extensive use of remotes or scenario-specific obstacles. Either way it's not a simple win/loss on objective choice. It simply requires you to be versatile. More importantly, no points are scored based on kills/deaths, but only on your ability to gain points via method A or method B. Some favor force, some tankiness, some control/maneuverability, some area coverage, some attack value, and so on. Of course, you still don't want your ships getting killed; that stops you from scoring more points, and it goes the same way for your opponent's ships. You'll certainly want to shoot them down at every opportunity. That's just not all the game is anymore. Beyond environments, this could add so much narrative value to the game.

It fixes the non-engagement problem. It fixes the regen/fortressing problem. It fixes the single-archetype-wins problem. It fixes the all-matches-go-to-time problem. It fixes the Swarms-don't-get-enough-rounds problem. It's also just more fun and more interesting than a straight-up points vs points deathmatch. Every game tells a story. You get immersed in the situation and have to make judgements based on what's actually going in your world rather than on arithmetic.

This is a great post, so I'd hate to be the one to say it's a bit of idealistic hyperbole... but I think I just did.

"Kill stuff" is an objective, and the top meta lists are optimized for it. You can add other objectives to the mix as well, and then designing a top tier list becomes more like optimizing a system of equations, rather than just one, but that doesn't mean the solution is more complex or nuanced. For instance, if the objective is to hold an area of the battlefield, then a lot of the "not dying" strategy merely changes to "not dying while sitting still". You may bring back more fortressing rather than less, and I don't think anyone really felt that double Falcons face bumping each other had particularly strong narrative appeal. So I would caution that "merely" changing the objective system will not immediately solve all problems, and will likely introduce new ones as well.

BUT, I do agree that, at the very least, these problems are more interesting to solve, at the design level as well as the list building level. How do you design (and balance) teams that can be King of the Hill, capture the flag, break the lines, and escort the VIP? I don't know, but I think I'd like to try.

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15 hours ago, brownj23 said:

Maybe fly better and go after the actionless shuttle?

🤦‍♂️ Gosh, why didn't I think of that?

I was able to figure out all on my own that I wasn't going to be able to joust the double-modded concussion missile alpha strike because even though the SFs would have a stress they could just fly through me with a 3 blue or any of six blue bank maneuvers, clearing that inadequate consequence for getting a double mod stress, getting their lock back or getting double-mods again if they didn't need/use their locks during the alpha, since they could still rotate their turret to shoot missiles again or to just make a 3-dice primary if I didn't get far enough away after bumping into the following shuttle. 

It is absolutely on me for being so terrible at X-wing that I couldn't out flank the ships with the four and five speed white straight, and two and three speed white ninety-degree turns with my ARC-170s. I'll just fly better, because I'm the only one in the game, and I'll outflank the faster ships I can't joust with my jousters. Thanks, for the help. It is much appreciated. 

So next time I'll fly better and maybe tweak my generic list a bit. More aces?  🤔

 

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