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Thoughts on the new tractor rules?

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It seems like a nerf to Tractor, but it really isn't in my opinion. The sole benefit for the defender is never being forced out of the playing area anymore, when a tractor move puts you facing an edge too closely. That's it. Otherwise, it's still the same basically. Let's face it, most of the times the tractoring player decides to move the opponent is when it would put the ship on an obstacle. Now that Gas Clouds have been changed at the same time as this new Tractor rule/effect, well no obstacles are "safe" anymore and are all worse really when combined with the new tractor rule. On an asteroid, the defender won't be attacking anyway so deciding to gain a stress on top of the (very) possible damage from the roll? I don't know. Of course you can assure that you won't go over the asteroid again with you maneuver template on the next move, but still... On a debris cloud, you already gained a stress, so gaining a second? On a gas cloud, well you have 5/8 of a "chance" to gain a strain token, so your agility is most probably reduced and of course you lose yet another green die from the tractor. So gaining a stress on top of that?

I would have also much preferred the rule mentioned earlier in here: the tractoring player must decide between moving the tractored ship, then removing the tractor token(s) afterwards (no reduced agility), or not moving the ship and keeping the tokens for the reduced agility. That's a real decision, and a much simpler solution.

Edited by admat

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9 hours ago, DR4CO said:

I'm also confused as to why FFG are tiptoeing around the Nantex and Ensnare so much,

They knew it was wrong at inception but went ahead and did it anyway. Now they can't nerf the entire expansion out of the game. And of course they put the tractor mechanics in the game at all. If they stop tiptoeing around Nantex and Ensnare they start doing more than making their tacit admissions of tractor not being all that great in the first place. 

They are lucky I didn't quit this game at the beginning of my time with it after being the new guy with X-wings against the just buffed TIE Defenders with tractors. 

 

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2 hours ago, admat said:

It seems like a nerf to Tractor, but it really isn't in my opinion. The sole benefit for the defender is never being forced out of the playing area anymore, when a tractor move puts you facing an edge too closely. That's it. Otherwise, it's still the same basically. Let's face it, most of the times the tractoring player decides to move the opponent is when it would put the ship on an obstacle. Now that Gas Clouds have been changed at the same time as this new Tractor rule/effect, well no obstacles are "safe" anymore and are all worse really when combined with the new tractor rule. On an asteroid, the defender won't be attacking anyway so deciding to gain a stress on top of the (very) possible damage from the roll? I don't know. Of course you can assure that you won't go over the asteroid again with you maneuver template on the next move, but still... On a debris cloud, you already gained a stress, so gaining a second? On a gas cloud, well you have 5/8 of a "chance" to gain a strain token, so your agility is most probably reduced and of course you lose yet another green die from the tractor. So gaining a stress on top of that?

If I'm running Debris Clouds or Gas Clouds, I can choose to rotate to give me a shot. Even if you land me on an Asteroid, a rotate could ensure I don't overlap the obstacle next round, or give me a better flight path. It isn't 'free', but a stress token isn't a terrible cost. I'd rather be double stressed and shooting, than single stressed (but almost certain to get stressed next round anyway due to placement) and having no shot at all.

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8 minutes ago, AceDogbert said:

If I'm running Debris Clouds or Gas Clouds, I can choose to rotate to give me a shot. Even if you land me on an Asteroid, a rotate could ensure I don't overlap the obstacle next round, or give me a better flight path. It isn't 'free', but a stress token isn't a terrible cost. I'd rather be double stressed and shooting, than single stressed (but almost certain to get stressed next round anyway due to placement) and having no shot at all.

Yeah, obviously you can maybe get a shot (and I already mentioned the possible "no overlap again" for the asteroid) but the cost still seems steep to me.

I know I'm biased over this though, as I've never liked Tractor in the game.

Edited by admat

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It's also interesting; if you tractor someone onto a debris cloud, you're also stressing them. If you place them right, you can force them to choose between:

a) Not having a shot and still being double-stressed next turn

b) Taking a stress to get a shot, but being triple-stressed next turn

c) Taking a stress to turn the other way, not getting a shot, but making sure they don't get the third stress the following turn

In any case it's pretty nasty. Tractor into debris is almost worse than tractor into asteroids now. Tractor into gas is not nearly as bad, but kind of weird; doubly fewer green dice but guaranteed evade, in exchange for more green dice and free evade for yourself, and the likelihood that they'll miss their action the following round...

Honestly I don't think tractor is that much worse than before. Tractor Beam is, certainly, but auto-tractor abilities are still quite solid.

Incidentally still believe all cannons were overpriced before and the nerf was a very stupid move but I could be wrong.

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@ClassicalMoser too be certain there is supposed to be a near infinite variety to the spacecraft of the sandbox we play in. So where a ship comes from is an irrelevant point. And that's not my problem with tractor beams. My problem with tractor beams is in Canon, they never, ever, pull off what they do in this game. And point of fact if they could do in Canon what they do in this game we would have a very different Star Wars. For baby Yoda's sake they don't even use tractor beams we know to exist on ISDs to prevent floating rocks from smashing into their own bridge... Or very determined A-wings for that matter 😅😂

And further the Defender gets canonized hard (hahahah that's punny) in Rebels. And it can't do these magical xwing game tricks there either. Because personally that would be stupid anyway. And thank Pablo they don't I'd wager.

@JJ48 lol points for creative thinking! 😂👍 That would technically be on A screen to be sure. But the movies and TV shows have been on a great many more screens, and are the type of screens I'm more concerned with.

To your first point, it doesn't matter if the tractor emitter is in the trench at all. We know it's system is capable of grabbing ships at almost the edge of visual range from it's encounter with the Falcon. And the same lore sources that some would say justify the existence of the technology on things like the Nantex say it has an astounding 768 beams! The Rebel fighter wings should have never even made it to the Death Star let alone skimmed the surface for a bit before getting to the trench at all. That would be the Tarkin doctrine. Extremely oppressive overwhelming firepower. And it doesn't happen. 

To your second point. Well. Let's be real. You just proceed why the Quadjumper, a civilian tug, shouldn't be in the game anyway. Assuming there were in fact weaponized versions, that across 9 movies and almost a dozen seasons of TV shows doesn't exist: 2.  Tractor beams in a station for helping ships dock or keeping them in place are likely quite different from the weaponized tractors in TIE Fighter designed specifically for fighter combat.

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1 hour ago, ForceSensitive said:

And further the Defender gets canonized hard (hahahah that's punny) in Rebels. And it can't do these magical xwing game tricks there either. Because personally that would be stupid anyway. And thank Pablo they don't I'd wager.

I never said the Defender wasn’t canon. I said that, in Canon, the Defender does not have a tractor beam at all. This is independently verifiable; you can look it up.

As for how tractor beams work, sure, they can’t push (only pull), and they don’t seem to toss stuff around; games have to use some forms of abstraction to represent these things. I’m fine with changes too; I’d just prefer them to be elegant, and this change is inelegant.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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1 hour ago, ClassicalMoser said:

I never said the Defender wasn’t canon. I said that, in Canon, the Defender does not have a tractor beam at all. This is independently verifiable; you can look it up.

As for how tractor beams work, sure, they can’t push (only pull), and they don’t seem to toss stuff around; games have to use some forms of abstraction to represent these things. I’m fine with changes too; I’d just prefer them to be elegant, and this change is inelegant.

I'm sorry I wasn't trying to negate your comments about the Defender in Canon, I was trying to build off them. Ineptly apparently lol 😅

And you and I will agree forever on the love of an elegant rule. Much of my problem with tractor is that they've never been that way at all. Ever. Not with in the Canon as my first problem, but not even within the game as my second.

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Finally had chance to play with new tractor.

And the rotate never came up :D

To me, and clearly numerous others, this change is very finely tuned for Ensnare.

Personally, I think the Nantex is a fun ship. Never used it, but I've enjoyed playing against it and the people I know who field it, find a lot of fun in it's quirks.

However, massive agency stealing NPElephant in the room. The R3 hyper threat bubble of moving last and doing whatever you want to the opposing small ship.

It was a little bit much. I can appreciate people not liking the whole tractor mechanic, but it was reasonably well balanced until the Ensare Nantex.

Given how much it seems to need the tractor to do the arc dodging such flimsy aces live by, I imagine it is now kind of overcosted. I really don't know... or have any stake in the matter to bother working it out.

Anyway, it still has it's fun toys and I'm sure it can find a way to recover, even certain pilots may have to wait for the next points update. Like I say  I don't know, maybe Sun is still really good. Shrug.

However, I think it's a pretty neat change.

Note. I care not for canon or science or whatever on this topic.

Tractor works to give you the chance to improve your follow up shots or crucially beach an enemy. The latter you have a lot of say in, as a defender. Like a lot of things, dont be exactly there.

It still does that, but now it has a much harder time reducing the impact of shots coming back, unless you're Init killing or beaching, both fairly standard effects. The latter is often achieved with a block, for example. Again, dont be there.

It basically gives the whole mechanic a counter play that it didn't always have previously. Many other solutions to various OP levels of tractor leave a healthy window for certain player agency imbalances to remain in play. Which is why I think this is quite tidy.

Hitting the Nantex specifically with errata or points or whatever, does not rule out future weirdness that is yet to be released or perhaps, (highly unlikely), not been discovered. Either way, there are other tractor users that can be considered pretty unpleasant to deal with and the agency part of it, removing your opponents ability to shoot you, wherever they put their ship in relation to things, remains.

So we get this solution. I think it's fine.

In fact I like it a great deal, as someone who will only ever play against the Nantex, and as someone who has also received a nice tax break on his big Scum ships....

So I used Assaj tonight. She was beast. My mate never rotated his ships because I never tractored him with the intention of moving his arc away from me. So he never had to.

And I guess RZ-2s are probably better off not double or triple stressed.

I threw a couple on an obstacle when I could, but the benefit for me has always been reducing agility for follow up shots, messing with their path, for future benefi. Or plain old beaching some poor sucker, when opportunity knocks- normally requires numerous ships on the board so all actual good counter positions are taken.

This all still works just as the Dark Lord intended. So I'm quite chuffed I now pay less for it.

Assaj. Tractor, Force and Stress. Good. Let the hate flow through you.

 

Edited by Cuz05

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On 1/21/2020 at 8:18 AM, admat said:

It seems like a nerf to Tractor, but it really isn't in my opinion. The sole benefit for the defender is never being forced out of the playing area anymore, when a tractor move puts you facing an edge too closely. That's it. Otherwise, it's still the same basically. Let's face it, most of the times the tractoring player decides to move the opponent is when it would put the ship on an obstacle. Now that Gas Clouds have been changed at the same time as this new Tractor rule/effect, well no obstacles are "safe" anymore and are all worse really when combined with the new tractor rule. On an asteroid, the defender won't be attacking anyway so deciding to gain a stress on top of the (very) possible damage from the roll? I don't know. Of course you can assure that you won't go over the asteroid again with you maneuver template on the next move, but still... On a debris cloud, you already gained a stress, so gaining a second? On a gas cloud, well you have 5/8 of a "chance" to gain a strain token, so your agility is most probably reduced and of course you lose yet another green die from the tractor. So gaining a stress on top of that?

I would have also much preferred the rule mentioned earlier in here: the tractoring player must decide between moving the tractored ship, then removing the tractor token(s) afterwards (no reduced agility), or not moving the ship and keeping the tokens for the reduced agility. That's a real decision, and a much simpler solution.

I disagree with this.   Yes, being thrown on an obstacle is a big bonus to the Tractor.  It also allows you to move someone so they don't get a shot that round.  You can move someone so that they are placed in a worse position for moves next turn.   Also, the holy grail of Tractoring is to move someone so they are forced off the board next turn.   There are a lot of reasons to move someone around, but they are all just negated by that stupid new rule.   The only reason to even use Tractor anymore is for the -1 Agility.   It just removed a lot from actually using a Tractor Beam weapon.  

All this just to nerf the Nantex.   Due to that one ship, all Tractors have been nerfed.   It was hard enough to justify using them in the first place, but now it's gotten even worse.

Utter crap.

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4 hours ago, heychadwick said:

I disagree with this.   Yes, being thrown on an obstacle is a big bonus to the Tractor.  It also allows you to move someone so they don't get a shot that round.  You can move someone so that they are placed in a worse position for moves next turn.   Also, the holy grail of Tractoring is to move someone so they are forced off the board next turn.   There are a lot of reasons to move someone around, but they are all just negated by that stupid new rule.   The only reason to even use Tractor anymore is for the -1 Agility.   It just removed a lot from actually using a Tractor Beam weapon.  

All this just to nerf the Nantex.   Due to that one ship, all Tractors have been nerfed.   It was hard enough to justify using them in the first place, but now it's gotten even worse.

Utter crap.

Right, because the original version where the one mechanic negated the core experience of planning your moves and lining up shots was so much better.  😒🙄

My favorite part was despite this debate of whether or not the Tractor mechanic is in general an NPE or not being one of the top few recurring discussions on this forum, often one of the most heated debates to boot, in the recent stream the design team was adamant that there was nothing we could do to convince them that it was one. 

I consider it my Contact Movie Clause. It's not that there's just static in the recording, it's that there's 8 hours of it.

If it looks like an NPE, gets talked about relentlessly like it's an NPE, and smells like an NPE...FFG will stick their head in the sand and pretend it's not happening?😂🤣

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5 hours ago, heychadwick said:

All this just to nerf the Nantex.   Due to that one ship, all Tractors have been nerfed. 

I'm not really seeing that as a bad thing. One of things that has always rustled my jimmies about Star Wars games is the penchant for trying to stick some form of every gosh darned thing that appeared on the screen in the games even if it just doesn't make sense. 

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7 hours ago, heychadwick said:

There are a lot of reasons to move someone around, but they are all just negated by that stupid new rule.   

Aligning an enemy ship with an obstacle or moving them into firing arcs not a thing for you?

I find them useful.

I have never hunted this holy grail you speak of. Chasing rainbows is fun n all, but I haven't played many people who will set a ship up that way for me.

 

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I got de-boarded once. Really sucked. Especially because dude was like "man, I thought you were going here so this whole turn was built around this sequence, and I had to go there, so I changed last minute and went here instead, you saw through my plan and everything and blocked all this too and I thought I was going to tractor you there... Dang... Drat... Oh wait...puuuuusshh." next turn ship off

And that was when I realized Tractors were the worst designed game element since the original TIE phantom, and for the same reason: they have the ability to make your good decisions bad without any counter play. It's why they added this piece in. It tried to account for that.

But don't worry, as long as you're ship is ionized, when every gun is disabled and all the engines are dead and the consoles are fried... You'll still have full agility and get your planned shots, and nothing will happen till the following round anyway. 😄Oh and bonus! It's actually a very relaxing experience and your pilots and crew have time to sip their space martini and ditch a stress while the system reboots.👍 Also before they get ionized they actually have to get hit first. Past their normal defenses. And it had to be a solid hit too like 2+ damage. 😶

Kinda like when two Star Destroyers missed the Ghost in that one episode. Turns out, it can miss! 😅😂

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Scum and Villainy and pirates using modified tugboats makes a lot of sense. (And being tugboats with an array of multiple beams, they should be able to push as well by manipulating multiple beam angles and strength). You want to quickly unload/grapple valuable goods or tow away damaged bounty, and you do not want to do this defenseless and unarmed. Now, unfortunately FFG not having introduced more differentiated attack values or different attack dice types leaves the Quadjumper with 2 attack dice, as much as weak snub fighters. But with 1 attack die you might as well not turn up.

On 1/21/2020 at 7:30 PM, ClassicalMoser said:

Incidentally still believe all cannons were overpriced before and the nerf was a very stupid move but I could be wrong.

Thank the in conjunction with Braylen and esp. Ten stupidly designed new B-Wing configuration for this. With cheap cannons bordering NPE, dangerously near the 1st edition double shooting Defender BS. This card on these pilots has ruined cannon pricing for good.

Edited by Managarmr
Spelling on mobiles.. Grrr

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Tractor would have been just fine as a mechanic  if it just lowered agility and didn't reposition at all.  It's NPE for many players, understandably.  It's also overly complicated...  More so with the new "stress to rotate" rule.

 

Edited by MikeEvans

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10 hours ago, MikeEvans said:

Tractor would have been just fine as a mechanic  if it just lowered agility and didn't reposition at all.

Imagine if Geonosians actually worked that way?

You can rotate your turret, but it costs one less agility. How do you want to deal with that? Just eat it? Gravitic Deflection to get a re-roll at least? Ensnare to force your opponent to pay the cost instead?

Each one not horribly oppressive

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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Been thinking a lot about how I would change tractor beam rules. Let me know what you all think. 

Change token from orange to red. 
A ship is considered tractored if it has enough tractor tokens applied according to its base size. Small =1, medium =2, large =3. 
A tractored ship increases the difficulty of all maneuvers by one step (blue>white, white>red, red>purple).   After performing a maneuver, remove all tractor tokens. 
If a ship is tractored during the end phase, the player who placed the tractor token(s) may choose to spend all tractor tokens on that ship. If they do they must force that ship to perform a 1 boost (forward or backwards) or barrel roll. 
 
My thoughts are that we already have strain, we don’t need two mechanics that do the same thing. Tractoring in sci-fi has always been about controlling maneuverability and positioning. The options the attacker have are thematic, but have to choose between reposition or difficult choices in maneuvers.
Nantex will probably need a config to be able to change the timing window on when they spend their tractor tokens. 
Edited by dunhop
Update ideas

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56 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

The whole suggestion is way too complicated anyway, and also way too punishing

Actually the idea is very basic. If you are tractored you increase the difficulty of your maneuver, then get rid of tractor tokens. The only slightly complex part is the attacker's choice in the end-phase, which is basically what the token currently does, just postponed to the end-phase. And there is no reduced agility.

Anything with a control aspect to a game will always appear punishing, but this option doesn't punish the defender by throwing them immediately on a rock and removing all chances they have to attack. They get to perform their engagement phase as they planned, then after everything has resolved they may, or may not get moved, and have the option to plan what they will do with the possibility of a some restraint. It will make shedding stress more difficult, which is something I worry about, but proper planning can reduce the effect of this. Plus I would expect the cost of this mechanic to go up.

There hasn't been any play-testing of this idea yet, just throwing ideas out to the wind, but I plan on checking out this line of thought and see where improvements can be made.

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After testing my previous idea, it made maneuvering too restrictive, especially on ships with limited blues like the y-wing. Sticking with the idea of modifying movement I am now considering reducing the speed of a maneuver. Will let you know how testing continues...

basic concept: for every tractor token on a ship, reduce the speed of its next maneuver by 1 (maintain same bearing and difficulty). If a ships maneuver is ever reduced to 0 or less, do not move the ship and it gains 1 strain token. 

Edited by dunhop

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