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urbanyeti

Nantex but really Ensnare fix thought.

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Posted (edited)

Would ensnare be as bad if it gave the target a strain instead of a tractor?

What if ensnare read: at the start of the activation phase, if you are tractored, you may choose a ship at range 0-1 in your mobile arc and spend a tractor token to assign it a strain. Is that less bad?

Could the ship return to playable price levels?

But then Sun Fac and the i4 guy have useless abilities. Dang I liked that ship. 

Edited by urbanyeti

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Posted (edited)

Or just change tractor to forward movement only. No left/right, no turning 90 degrees (dumbest idea ever), just forward movement only. Now nantex have to line up the movement so the arc misses. Less likely to toss people onto rocks creating NPE unless they f***ed and moved in front of a rock. Forward only.

Or if they are gonna keep the 90 degree turn thing (lame), instead of a stress token, it should be a deplete or jam token. Something to weaken that most likely range 1 attack.

 

Edited by wurms

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The biggest problem with tractoring in general at the moment is stacking effects.  One single Tractor token can easily cause multiple negative effects - moving a ship into an unfavourable position (out of arc, range 1 etc), and then ALSO reducing it's agility.  This is exacerbated with the Nantex and Ensnare as the owning player can essentially give their own ship hypermanuverability with a free boost or barrel roll, THEN move their opponent's ship AND reduce it's agility.

Realistically the entire Tractor mechanic needs to be overhauled and errata'd so tokens can cause a maximum of ONE effect:

"A ship is Tractored while it has equal or greater than a specific number of tractor tokens, according to its size: a small ship requires one tractor token, a medium ship requires at least two tractor tokens, and a large ship requires at least three tractor tokens. A tractor token is an orange token.

After a ship becomes tractored, the player whose effect applied the tractor tokens may spend all assigned tractor tokens to choose one of the following effects

  • Perform a (non-action) barrel roll using the 1 template. The player applying the effect selects the direction of the barrel roll and the ship’s final position. 
  • Perform a (non-action) boost using the 1 maneuver template. 

This move can cause a ship to move through or overlap an obstacle. Other barrel roll and boost restrictions still apply (fails if move would cause ship to flee the battlefield, etc). 

After a ship is moved this way, if an opponent moved it, the ship's player may choose to have the ship rotate 90˚ to the left or right. If they do, the ship gains one stress token. 

During the Engagement Phase, while a tractored ship defends, it rolls one fewer defence die."

 

...so, if a Nantex takes a Tractor token as a result of rotating it's arc with Pinpoint Tractor Array and then uses that tokem to boost or barrel roll, it wouldn't then be able to transfer that token to another ship at the end of the Activation phase with Ensnare.

If it doesn't use the token to boost or barrel roll itself (and retains the token), it can then pass it on.  If it then boost or barrel rolls the opponent's ship, that ship's agility won't be reduced as the token will be gone.

 

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43 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

The biggest problem with tractoring in general at the moment is stacking effects.  One single Tractor token can easily cause multiple negative effects - moving a ship into an unfavourable position (out of arc, range 1 etc), and then ALSO reducing it's agility.  This is exacerbated with the Nantex and Ensnare as the owning player can essentially give their own ship hypermanuverability with a free boost or barrel roll, THEN move their opponent's ship AND reduce it's agility.

Realistically the entire Tractor mechanic needs to be overhauled and errata'd so tokens can cause a maximum of ONE effect:

[SNIP]

 

Yep, completely agree this. 

How FFG looked at the Nantex, saw the issues with tractoring and didn't see this as the obvious solution still puzzles me.

 

The only reason I can come up with is they just fundamentally don't like the idea of one player spending tokens assigned to the other player's ships, regardless of how clear this specific interaction would be made in the rules. If that's the reason, then I suppose I understand it to a degree, it is basically completely flipping a pretty baseline mechanic of the game (you spend your tokens), but I still think it's a missed opportunity.

 

The overlap with Strain is really interesting, though. You almost wonder whether Tractor tokens would have had the agility reducing effect if Strain had already been a thing when they were designed. They do work differently enough as is that I think it's very difficult to replace the current tractor based agility reduction with Strain tokens, though. Mostly because Strain only needs one token and Tractor scales with base size, and because Strain can potentially last through the end of a round. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, wurms said:

Or just change tractor to forward movement only. No left/right, no turning 90 degrees (dumbest idea ever), just forward movement only. Now nantex have to line up the movement so the arc misses. Less likely to toss people onto rocks creating NPE unless they f***ed and moved in front of a rock. Forward only.

No, that's still horrible.

We'd still see a bunch of Nantex bump into self tractor into ensnare into pushing an opponent's ship into a position where it has no shot.

9 hours ago, urbanyeti said:

Would ensnare be as bad if it gave the target a strain instead of a tractor?

What if ensnare read: at the start of the activation phase, if you are tractored, you may choose a ship at range 0-1 in your mobile arc and spend a tractor token to assign it a strain. Is that less bad?

This might be the first Nantex fix suggestion I've read that isn't still trash.  I kinda like it.

It means Ensnare is still an offensive tool, but a lot less potent as a control tool.  It was a problem that Nantex had the level of control that it did, while being this mobile and high initiative, while doing as much damage as it did, while being essentially impossible to block.  Strain instead of tractor essentially removes 95% of the Nantex's control, and a Nantex without control is, frankly, pretty much the same as any other ace.

9 hours ago, urbanyeti said:

But then Sun Fac and the i4 guy have useless abilities. Dang I liked that ship. 

If FFG were errata'ing Ensnare, they could easily errata Sun Fac and Chertek to be "if your opponent is tractored or strained."

9 hours ago, urbanyeti said:

Could the ship return to playable price levels?

Now that's a harder question.  The fact that a Nantex still gets a reposition action after being blocked is still potentially quite toxic.  Heck, potentially the most toxic thing about them, more than being hucked about by tractor tokens.  It makes an opponent feel like they don't have counter-play to a Nantex.

But the following suite of erratas probably could allow playable price levels again:

  • Ensnare is Strain not Tractor
  • Enby buggy baes Sun Fac and Chertek work against strained or tractored opponents
  • Pinpoint Tractor Array becomes "fully execute" and not "execute" a maneuver
Edited by theBitterFig

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5 hours ago, FTS Gecko said:

"After a ship becomes tractored, the player whose effect applied the tractor tokens may spend all assigned tractor tokens to choose one of the following effects:"

This has always been a really mediocre and insufficient "fix."

  • For starters, you're missing a line about "you cannot be tractored more than once in a turn" or such, otherwise a ship could seriously get dragged all over the place.  Easily fixed, but still.
  • Second, it doesn't actually do anything to reduce what folks hate about Tractor: being thrown somewhere utterly useless.  Sure, it's nice not to have to roll fewer dice, but when you're still getting manhandled onto rocks, that's pretty small potatoes.
  • Third, you've just given free Gravitic Deflection to every Nantex pilot, pretty much.  It nerfs Ensnare, but buffs non-Ensnare Nantex.  Rather, it buffs any Nantex outside of Ensnare range.  This is a big benefit to any Ensnare Nantex looking to stay alive long enough to get into Range 1.  Lowering the drawback on already low-drawback reposition abilities isn't a good idea.
  • The only thing it really accomplishes is that a Nantex can't combine it's own move with moving an enemy ship.  That's not enough, considering the free GravDef they just got out of the package.

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42 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

No, that's still horrible.

We'd still see a bunch of Nantex bump into self tractor into ensnare into pushing an opponent's ship into a position where it has no shot.

I disagree. Ive played Nantex a lot and the most NPE aspect of ensnare is the left and right movement of tractoring someone. People dont generally land in front of obstacles, they land to the side of obstacles and the left and right tractor puts them on/or in front of a rock. Also, the self-tractor left and enemy-tractor right was an abusive arc dodging movement.

With only a forward tractor, a close range 1 opponent in front of a nantex cant be moved. Its a safe spot so to speak, so higher initiative ships can boost or roll into spots to not get moved. With only a single maneuver, its a lot more manageable. Lets remember, this is a 4 hull ship. Fenn gets an extra green dice and an auto evade at range 1 and still requires really good play to get his value worth. Nantex, like a 70pt Sun Fac, should be tough to deal with, but not NPE.

But there are many ways to fix ensnare while still keeping the "assign tractor token" to not kill chertek or sunfac or have to errata the entire pilot abilities. FFG just chose the worse option that killed the ship.

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Or, allow Ensnare to tractor, but only tractoring during a ship's activation or attack will move it. Thus, Fac's ability means something and Ensnare means -1 agi for the entire round. This card-text-not-changing rule change also preserves tugboats and Thannison's ability to move things during activation, with Shadowcaster and tractor beam meaning stuff in combat.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the rule change that allows all damage-free attacks that hit to inflict a deplete token. Jamming beam would be worth at least 1 pt then.

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2 hours ago, wurms said:

I disagree. Ive played Nantex a lot and the most NPE aspect of ensnare is the left and right movement of tractoring someone. People dont generally land in front of obstacles, they land to the side of obstacles and the left and right tractor puts them on/or in front of a rock. Also, the self-tractor left and enemy-tractor right was an abusive arc dodging movement.

With only a forward tractor, a close range 1 opponent in front of a nantex cant be moved. Its a safe spot so to speak, so higher initiative ships can boost or roll into spots to not get moved.

Eh, maybe.  I mean, a Nantex can still move someone who's close, if the Nantex goes to the side with their own reposition.  I still think a lot of tractor boosts are still going to be annoying as heck to deal with.

2 hours ago, wurms said:

But there are many ways to fix ensnare while still keeping the "assign tractor token" to not kill chertek or sunfac or have to errata the entire pilot abilities. FFG just chose the worse option that killed the ship.

I've literally never read a better suggestion to fix tractors than what FFG did.

Reminds me of how the 1e Advanced SLAM change came to stop Miranda/Mines.  There were some folks suggesting that SLAM not Advanced SLAM was the problem, and all FFG had to do was fix the action.  And no one ever presented idea of a fix for the SLAM action that made any sense.

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I've spent a lot of time trying to work out a good fix for the tractor mechanic. Every time I think I've come up with something it falls apart in play testing. I love flying the Nantex, and still do fairly regularly, but I don't fly the named pilots anymore and haven't even considered putting Ensnare on the board. I would love to see a good fix, but as things stand right now I don't even bother trying to tractor other people. Without some major changes to a lot of ships and game mechanics we aren't going to get a fix that everyone will agree with. I really don't like the taking a stress to rotate your ship, that might have been the rule addition that killed tractor beams for me. 

The point that I tend to agree the most with would probably be having to spend the tractor token to force the other player to move their ship. This way you have to make the choice if it is better that they have reduced agility or to move them out of the way. If the rule only states you have to spend the token to force other players ships to move, then you are still free to do your own repositioning without spending the token.

Making the change to fully complete a maneuver on the Nantex's ability would also help change how negatively people feel about the ship.

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