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Darth Meanie

Pilots with a Mission

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I'm not the biggest fan of these kind of "hard counter" designs in general. They can create a situation where actually playing the game feels like a formality, because if you have the right counter you're very likely to win and if you have the wrong one you're equally likely to lose.

In some circumstances they can benefit the game by serving as a "safety valve" option which is generally inefficient but can become playable if a particular archetype or mechanic is very dominant. However, I think that works better for a game like Magic where:

  1. You can have a sideboard.
  2. A situational card is about 2% of your deck, instead of the 15 to 33% that a pilot is.
  3. There is no ability to adjust points if everyone is playing the same thing.

 

Out of these pilots, I'd say Essara Till is the best design because it has the most counterplay. If you're flying droids you still have some options, like taking a target lock or some other action instead of calculating, or blocking Essara so they can't take an action and therefore can't benefit from the eyeball result.

The inquisitors might be more interesting if instead of being "always on" they had an ability which either made the defender spend a Force to avoid some consequence (similar to Asajj and tokens), or which has a negative effect if the defender spends the Force. E.g. "While attacking, before rolling dice, if the defender has an active [Force], it gains 1 stress token unless it spends 1 [Force]." or "While attacking, if the defender spends a [Force] to modify their dice, it gains 1 strain token."

Edited by Ysenhal

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Perhaps the force could be a bit more overall-useful, as having a card that specifically targets one aspect and invalidates it is bad design IMO-maybe more "this is good against force and best there but sees use in other places instead." Something like 6th brother but it's just a thing you can spend a force to do with no other requirement-messes up force users, but also has its purposes against everyone else.

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1 hour ago, ScummyRebel said:

I like the anti force mechanic because that’s more widespread than any single faction. The Decimator works too. Not a fan of the ones mentioning factions by name.

Yeah, that is certainly the weakest design.  They might be fun as part of a campaign/mission set.

10 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

Wasted points when you end up in a match without those attributes.

Well, that is the biggest risk.  Again, probably best suited for campaigns, but targeting things like Force, Calculate, and Illicits gives them themes that can bridge multiple factions.

Technically, the "droid hater" will do well against Huge ships, too.

Also, don't forget that (like the Huges), ships that would not normally be targets could become one with the right upgrade.  Add Maul to the YV-666 and suddenly it's a target for a Force hunter.

6 hours ago, Ysenhal said:

I'm not the biggest fan of these kind of "hard counter" designs in general. They can create a situation where actually playing the game feels like a formality, because if you have the right counter you're very likely to win and if you have the wrong one you're equally likely to lose.

IMHO, none of these abilities should be worse than anything a "regular" pilot would have.  If anything, the main thing would be having a pilot with an X% reduction in applicability and a Y% reduction in points (but something minimal, like 1-2%).

The harshest ones are "add 1 die if" and these could easily be dumbed down to "change a blank to a focus."

Lastly, I don't think any faction should get more than 1 anti-pilot per "topic," so that you could never field a list of "all my ships are anti all your ships."

Also, some themes should probably be faction locked as well--Republic and Empire only get the anti-Illicit category because they are the Established Rule of Law.  Seps and Empire are Jedi Hunters.

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24 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

They might be fun as part of a campaign/mission set.

If you're doing campaigns, why don't you have an upgrade/reward system that gives you the chance to unlock incrementally better cards for your pilot? I've even thought about allowing a campaign pilot to equip unlimited Talent cards as long as you earn them through combat experience.

This would also give you the freedom to create "Campaign-Only" upgrades that can be as generic, specific, or even very nearly OP as you want, as long as they're confined to that format (which I would greatly enjoy playing too).

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Some of these need cleaned up a bit.

Captain Sarku - It says "At the start of engagement" and "if the defender" which are two different timing windows. The first is before anyone shoots, and the second is when Sarku is shooting someone. When is the deplete or strain supposed to show up? Is it before dice are rolled, because if so, Sarku is now Wedge against any Illicit slot ship with handing out a strain. Also, knowing whether a ship has a slot is not something easily readable on the board. I don't want to open my squad builder every time I 

I suggest this new wording:

"While you attack, after the neutralize results step, if the defender has an Illicit upgrade equipped you may assign them a deplete or strain token."

Essara Till - Solid. Best of the bunch.

Eighth Brother - I'm against giving Empire another I4 pilot with 2 force. If he keeps two force, make his ability this:

"While attacking before dice are rolled, if the defender has 1 or more forces charges active, you may spend one force charge. If you do, the defender must spend 1 force charge."

If he drops to one force charge, make it this: 

"While attacking before dice are rolled, if the defender has 1 or more forces charges active, the defender must spend 1 force charge."

Sixth Brother - Again, I'm against giving Empire another I4 pilot with 2 force. I'd like to spice this one up a bit, and add a bit of synergy with Eighth Brother:

"While attacking, if the defender has 1 or more inactive force charges, you may change one blank result to a focus result."

This way, Eighth Brother can remove a force charge on a defender, then Sixth gets punchier because that force is removed.

Rianna Saren and Todra Mayn - I'm not a fan of faction specific targets. Targeting calc, illicits, and force each favors a faction, but actually covers most of the 7 factions.

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1 hour ago, 5050Saint said:

Some of these need cleaned up a bit.

Captain Sarku - It says "At the start of engagement" and "if the defender" which are two different timing windows. The first is before anyone shoots, and the second is when Sarku is shooting someone. When is the deplete or strain supposed to show up? Is it before dice are rolled, because if so, Sarku is now Wedge against any Illicit slot ship with handing out a strain. Also, knowing whether a ship has a slot is not something easily readable on the board. I don't want to open my squad builder every time I 

I suggest this new wording:

"While you attack, after the neutralize results step, if the defender has an Illicit upgrade equipped you may assign them a deplete or strain token."

 

I went based on the Illicit Icon because that makes the ability more useful than just against ships using the icon.

(Too bad cards no longer have all the information to fully describe the ships. . .😎)

And yes, the ability is supposed to key before dice are rolled.

I could seriously use a Timing Flow Chart.  The rules list each one as a descriptive paragraph, but no where can I find a nice Turn Timing Chart.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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2 hours ago, KCDodger said:

You can have this one for free.

When the unit you are attacking has a [tech] slot, you may spend a charge to change one blank result to a hit.

Old fashioned pilot with a chip on their shoulder to prove the old stuff still works well against the new stuff.

Ka-pow:

h0mzEs1.jpg

And a fix for Sarki, which I renamed Lennox:

MtSU1zh.jpg

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The timing is still out of whack for Lennox.  There are no defenders at the start of the engagement phase.  A ship becomes a defender when "The ship that is chosen during the Declare Defender step of the Declare Target step of an attack is the defender. (RR, page 9)" which is step one of the perform attack which doesn't happen until a ships initiative.   Lennox wouldn't trigger until their initiative.

If you want it to happen before dice are rolled, then prolly word it something like "At the start of the Engagement Phase select one enemy ship that has a {Illicit} slot and assign it a Jam token." 

I'd also give it a range and/or arc limitation.

Edited by IridiumR6

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As a suggestion for the anti-faction idea, you could make use of the command slot (assuming this is for a custom / epic format) rather than individual pilots.

A command crew (Bitter Campaigner?) or wing leader (Vengeful Survivor?) could have a list of different effects for every faction and you just use the one that applies to your particular opponent.

The command crew could be huge ship only and be able to target any enemy ship, while the wing leader version might only target an enemy ship in its attack arc... with the effect being limited to once per turn via recurring charge, or having a fixed number of charges, and resolving at the start of the engagement phase.

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Meh. I'll pass as well. You're pushing a 'persecution' of specific items in the game without actively enhancing the play experience for everyone, or even the player bringing the cards you have here if the opponent doesn't have the item needed for it to work. It's a insurance policy design against nothing, which would mean it by nature have two different costs depending on the opponent. 

Consider Padme's pilot card. Technically, she's a foil to Jedi. Thematic and (borderline) useful. But she still interacts against plain focus or swarm calculate. 

B-wing is a foil to stress dealers, but don't require them as opponents. (Fun pun)

Passive sensors is a foil to high Initiative, but still offers unique synergies when it's not needed for that purpose.

So there's some good examples of a chassis, a pilot, and an upgrade, that go towards accomplishing a similar 'counter' goal without being so linear in what needs to take place to actually function. Interaction. It's the key you need to be looking for I think. Go back to basics.

Like, for example, say you want to impact pieces that use a calculate. Fine and dandy. Break that down, what is it accomplishing at it's core that EVERY piece is likely to do? That becomes your 'trigger condition' sooooo:....

"When an enemy ship at range 0-2 spends a Green token to change ONLY ONE RESULT from a (eye) to a (hit) or (evade),..." 

Does that hit calculate? Yes! Hard! But does it interact with the occasional focus? Yes, occasionally. How about Evades? Sure. Now it's interactive.

Now apply your reward(buff, debuff, quirk, whatever) and your done. Good luck, and enjoy the sand box.

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20 hours ago, ForceSensitive said:

Like, for example, say you want to impact pieces that use a calculate. Fine and dandy. Break that down, what is it accomplishing at it's core that EVERY piece is likely to do? That becomes your 'trigger condition' sooooo:....

"When an enemy ship at range 0-2 spends a Green token to change ONLY ONE RESULT from a (eye) to a (hit) or (evade),..." 

Does that hit calculate? Yes! Hard! But does it interact with the occasional focus? Yes, occasionally. How about Evades? Sure. Now it's interactive.

Well, that's not a one-to-one correlation.

You've changed the effect from a passive game state (possessing a Calc token) to an active one (changing a single result).

Which means the defender can actually neuter your pilot's special ability by refusing to perform the trigger state.

Yes, that means the defender didn't perform a beneficial action, but essentially that removed both player's agency.  I'm going to guess that will get boring fast.

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For these hard counters, you have to have a bypass for the counter-er. Like vader crew, they can remove a green token to not take damage. So for the one where he changes a die to an eyeball against force users, add "unless the opponent spends 1 force." So the opponent has the option of spending a force to reduce your attack. This creates a back and forth gameplay mechanic. Your opponent needs to reserve a force to reduce your attack power, and you want to put your opponent in situations to waste his force (like jedi full throttle) to increase your attack power ala Major Vermeil. So look for ways for both sides to have strategy against an ability.

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28 minutes ago, wurms said:

For these hard counters, you have to have a bypass for the counter-er. Like vader crew, they can remove a green token to not take damage. So for the one where he changes a die to an eyeball against force users, add "unless the opponent spends 1 force." So the opponent has the option of spending a force to reduce your attack. This creates a back and forth gameplay mechanic. Your opponent needs to reserve a force to reduce your attack power, and you want to put your opponent in situations to waste his force (like jedi full throttle) to increase your attack power ala Major Vermeil. So look for ways for both sides to have strategy against an ability.

Oh, I agree.

But there is a different feeling to "I spend to counter" than "I do nothing so you can't do anything."

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2 hours ago, Darth Meanie said:

Well, that's not a one-to-one correlation.

You've changed the effect from a passive game state (possessing a Calc token) to an active one (changing a single result).

Which means the defender can actually neuter your pilot's special ability by refusing to perform the trigger state.

Yes, that means the defender didn't perform a beneficial action, but essentially that removed both player's agency.  I'm going to guess that will get boring fast.

That wasn't intentionally a recommended change to any of your listed ones. Though it could be seen that way I suppose.

Interesting. Both players having action and reaction, risk and reward decision making, yet you consider it boring? How very odd. 

Especially if in the case of this example, preventing them by their own volition from spending tokens that are beneficial to them is seen as a down side? Don't you want them to not make the conversion?

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54 minutes ago, ForceSensitive said:

Interesting. Both players having action and reaction, risk and reward decision making, yet you consider it boring? How very odd. 

I was trying to get at the psychological implications of:

"I do this, now you respond. . ."

vs.

"If I do nothing then we cancel each other out."

Both are action/reaction, risk/reward, but I would think the former feels more dynamic.

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On 2/28/2020 at 6:13 PM, Darth Meanie said:

I was trying to get at the psychological implications of:

"I do this, now you respond. . ."

vs.

"If I do nothing then we cancel each other out."

Both are action/reaction, risk/reward, but I would think the former feels more dynamic.

But they did do something. They had to choose to not do something profitable. You took a normal decision they would make and changed it.. Several cards in the game currently function this way as it is, it's tried and true.

You altered the deal... In a manner of speaking 😎 

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