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Boom Owl

The Poe Principle & Soontir Should be 69 Points

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Gilarius said:

The bit I disagree on is that simply increasing the point costs just turns the triple Ace list into a double Ace list. The actual problems will still be present. Double Aces (regen Jedi, for example, or Whisper plus Vader) are potentially stronger than triple, since it is feasible to kill the weakest out of a trio and win on points. Double 'should' find beating a swarm or beef harder, but not necessarily.

 

Double ace lists are generally only fully problematic from a matchup perspective when premovement cards are to cheap. 

This goes all the way back to the very early days of 2.0 when Super Guri + Alpha Strike Boba was the Boba+ list. It just had Guri doing the dial changing instead of Boba. 

There are very few double ace lists I can think of besides Double Infiltrator that have been consistently effective against higher ship counts without at least 1 dial changer card upgrade making positioning irrelevant. 

Continue to hunt down the supernatural equivalents via ban level point costs and we can worry alot less about double ace archetypes being a problem as Trip i5+ Aces get more expensive. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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17 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

If Whisper costs 57 you get 3 points more when you half point the ship than you do if Whisper costs 52 and you half point the ship. Often games going to time come down to just a few points difference for victory and the game has no other ways to score points than doing damage to ships. 

Bids i.e. better-chance-to-move-at-your-choice upgrades are protected points unless the entire list is destroyed. Arcdodgers that need bids are in a majority of games not risking the points spent on bids. If an arcdodger list spent 10 points on a better-chance-to-move-at-your-choice upgrade those ten points are not on the table to be scored except in entire elimination of the list while being an improvement to the list just like a card upgrade. 

I feel like you replied to my comment like you were contradicting me, but I don't think there was a disagreement.

*shrug*

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10 hours ago, dezzmont said:

It is really clear dramatic points shifts that are still in the realm of reasonable aren't really working, so either the points changes need to get silly or something fundamental about how lists are made needs to change.

IMO this takes us back to @theBitterFig's suggestion (or was it someone else?) that each ship or pilot should have X points baked into the cost of fielding it.  Those x points give a discount to upgrades spent, so if a Kihraxz cost 5 points more per ship but its first 5 points spent on upgrades were free, that would allow better ship pricing.  Now FFG can allow and encourage upgrades for the ships that need them without dropping the ship's base price to the point that efficiency lists take over.  And this price can be per-pilot when necessary, e.g. to help lagging named pilots or generics without making the already-effective ace more amazing.  Or to be more generous to the ace who needs those points to be effective in the meta.

12 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

But the very fact that people are even trying to play everything under the sun is impressive; to me, that indicates that the gap between lowest tier and highest tier options is smaller in X-Wing than it is in other games. That is a good indicator (not conclusive proof, but a good indicator) that the metagame is healthier than people think.

Hahaha... hah... hrm.  I'll chock this up to you lacking a bit of experience, and maybe your local tournament meta being more gentle?  IMO you're making a big assumption that doesn't pan with experience.

Those here who know me, know me as the self-styled filthy casual who deliberately takes off-meta stuff to tournaments and predictably does poorly.  Or sometimes... average, but never really well.  I'm regularly chastised by Blail Blerg because my list doesn't do well against aces, and if it can't beat aces relatively consistently, then it's not worth taking to the table because ace lists have always been a major archetype and gatekeeper to even the lowest slums of the meta world.  My last tournament list was Wullffwarro War Crimes (iteration #9), a fun list that I love that has no right to be on the table in any tournament.  That's specifically why I brought it.

I typically use a strong pilot like Wedge or RAC as a crutch to try to hold the list steady, but I go in knowing and expecting I'll do poorly, and counting any amount of "not objectively horrible" as a win.  That's the only way to enjoy the experience of taking non-meta stuff to a tourney... you have to have the right attitude.

 

I do this because... I hate playing the meta.  It feels unwholesome to me.  The more dominant something becomes, the more I shy away from it.  I don't know what's broken in me, haha, but I just prefer the quirky and unexpected stuff over "practice this pre-determined net list; you'll be facing it and other netlists all day; there is no room for creativity, anything you can change will be worse than what's already proven".  And on the sassier end, if I can occasionally throttle an aspiring top meta fleet and screw up the cosmically ordained top tables, all the better, muahahaha...

But let me be very clear about this: it sucks.  It's brutal taking off-meta stuff into a tournament because you're going to have your innards ripped out and handed to you.  If your opponent is a nice person, they won't be rude about it; occasionally you'll be dealing with someone who's smug and condescending to you, but in my area that's so very rare (we mostly have really good people here).  Still, the experience of being nearly helpless against the great god, the top meta that dances circles around you for 75 minutes, or simply wipes you out in 30?  I'm extremely familiar with that experience.  We have some very competent tournament players who know their top meta lists very well, and they only fly the top meta.  When something is objectively better, they will use nothing else, and for good reason.  And however much I practice, I'm not going to excel against them with a list I deliberately chose for not being the meta.  By definition.

So please don't walk away thinking "oh, people brought lots of stuff, the game must be healthy and everything has a chance".  No.  I have a lot of experience facing off against the top meta with my garbage fleets and it's always an unpleasant feeling when I'm so outmatched there's no reason to even be here.  The difference between the top and the middle is stark.

I know I fly garbage.  I generally have fun doing it.  But I shy away from the serious tournaments because I know that experience probably won't be fun at all; I rarely go to them.  You either bring the top meta, something specifically crafted to try to tackle it (which itself is typically meta), or you walk in with the knowledge that you don't belong there and you're going to spend much of your day being thrashed by objectively better lists that have a large margin over you in both raw efficiency and (in the case of aces) options.

Plus, I have a particular distaste for the slow-player lists who spend all 75 minutes dancing around and not engaging, grabbing a few points here and there when doing so is ultra-safe, but never risking anything.  That's another big reason I don't enjoy the tournament scene; I just don't find that experience compelling or remotely fun.

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I think @Wazat paints high level events with a far more gloomy brush than it deserves, but he's right in that there's good stuff and there's bad stuff, there's good players and there's bad players...and a bunch of stuff in-between.  Being self-aware enough to know where you and the list you bring lies in those spectrums, along with your aspirations, is critical to enjoying the larger tournament scene.

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4 minutes ago, gennataos said:

I think @Wazat paints high level events with a far more gloomy brush than it deserves, but he's right in that there's good stuff and there's bad stuff, there's good players and there's bad players...and a bunch of stuff in-between.  Being self-aware enough to know where you and the list you bring lies in those spectrums, along with your aspirations, is critical to enjoying the larger tournament scene.

Yea, I wanted a strong counter to "oh, I see some variety in this TTS tournament, so the disparity must be low and the game is healthy!  Everything is viable!" because that's really far off-base.

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Just now, Wazat said:

Yea, I wanted a strong counter to "oh, I see some variety in this TTS tournament, so the disparity must be low and the game is healthy!  Everything is viable!" because that's really far off-base.

Yeah, everything is definitely not viable.  

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1 hour ago, Wazat said:

IMO this takes us back to @theBitterFig's suggestion (or was it someone else?) that each ship or pilot should have X points baked into the cost of fielding it.  Those x points give a discount to upgrades spent, so if a Kihraxz cost 5 points more per ship but its first 5 points spent on upgrades were free, that would allow better ship pricing.

this is the opposite of what I would want

1 hour ago, Wazat said:

Now FFG can allow and encourage upgrades for the ships that need them without dropping the ship's base price to the point that efficiency lists take over.

the idea that efficiency lists are at any given time, waiting just around the corner to take over the meta on a moment's notice if anyone so much as considers nerfing aces, seems really pervasive for something that has basically never happened in 2.0 and would only necessarily last a single 6 month interval even if deliberately engineered as an experiment

meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of aces have basically never seen their prices meaningfully increased or in many cases are cheaper than at launch (and everyone forgets, I guess, because some of them were outshined by other, even more broken aces, during wave 1? do people already not remember Squad of Legend? it's been like 2 years and we're literally still in the reign of Whisper and Boba)

 

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10 minutes ago, svelok said:

The idea that efficiency lists are at any given time, waiting just around the corner to take over the meta on a moment's notice if anyone so much as considers nerfing aces, seems really pervasive for something that has basically never happened in 2.0

Vulture swarms. Though I have to admit that imperial triple aces still seems to be the top dog.

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8 minutes ago, svelok said:

this is the opposite of what I would want

the idea that efficiency lists are at any given time, waiting just around the corner to take over the meta on a moment's notice if anyone so much as considers nerfing aces, seems really pervasive for something that has basically never happened in 2.0 and would only necessarily last a single 6 month interval even if deliberately engineered as an experiment

meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of aces have basically never seen their prices meaningfully increased or in many cases are cheaper than at launch (and everyone forgets, I guess, because some of them were outshined by other, even more broken aces, during wave 1? do people already not remember Squad of Legend? it's been like 2 years and we're literally still in the reign of Whisper and Boba)

I'm not even talking about efficiency lists waiting on ace nerfs so they can pounce.  I'm saying this gives the devs another tool for pricing struggling ships that lets them be priced appropriately with room for upgrades, without breaching certain ship count barriers.  Pilots that are already doing well don't get their base price changed and likewise don't get free points; those that rarely see play because their base cost + upgrades is too high do get a free points upgrade, allowing them to be fielded cheaper without lowering their base price below a threshold that creates a problematic efficiency list.

I think you and I are talking about different things.

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Nope, wasn’t saying that everything can realistically win. Just saying that in many games of this sort, you don’t see any diversity at all in a given metagame, and that doesn’t seem to be the case here. It’s an indicator that things are more open in X-Wing than in many other games. Nothing more. Not conclusive.

I’m sure there is still a stark difference between competitive and hopeless. The question is the severity of that contrast.

The only real assertion I’d make about any of this is that the way you fix problems like this is slowly, over time, with measured adjustments... not by rewriting rules and heavy-handed errata and across-the-board 20% increases to entire classes of pieces.

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4 hours ago, Wazat said:
Those here who know me, know me as the self-styled filthy casual who deliberately takes off-meta stuff to tournaments and predictably does poorly.  

[Snipped by me]

I do this because... I hate playing the meta.  It feels unwholesome to me.  The more dominant something becomes, the more I shy away from it.  I don't know what's broken in me, haha, but I just prefer the quirky and unexpected stuff

[Me snip more]

I know I fly garbage.  I generally have fun doing it.

I don't remember logging into your account and writing this but this seems like my brain. 

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Posted (edited)

Not all aces need increases just a specific set, most of the “not in line with Poe” ones are listed below. 🙂 

Pilots:

  • Soontir +16 = 69
  • Vader +6 = 73
  • Grand Inquisitor +6 = 58
  • Duchess +8 = 50
  • Whisper +6 = 63 
  • Rex +4 = 85
  • Redline +3 = 55
  • Guri +0 = 64
  • Boba +8 = 93
  • Kylo +9 = 85
  • Holo +5 = 59
  • Anakin +4 = 66
  • Obi Wan +10 = 58
  • Plo +10 = 54
  • Sun Fac +0 = 54
  • Luke +4 = 66

Upgrades: 

  • +10-15 Advanced Sensors at i5-i6
  • +19 Slave 1 
  • +8 Maul
  • +2 Fifth Bro
  • +7-9 Passive Sensors at i5-i6
  • +7 Sense 
  • +3 Burners at i5-i6
  • +66 Precog and Super just to be sure

The boba increases and upgrade increases probably aren't enough since Old T would still fit with Maul/S1 with a 11 pt bid I think? Which maybe still ends up a problem. The empire increases leave Soontir Duchess GI 13 pts? Maybe not far enough with the Empire changes in general not sure. Ani Obi Plo would no longer fit unless all three are CLT or one is Mace. 7b Obi 7b Plo Ric still fits with regen toys on one ship. I think this prevents Luke Han Wedge and Kylo Vonreg Holo to which wasn't 100% intentional but whatever. Not sure what to do about i1-i4 force users like the TAP and Athersprites have but those probably should go up to I guess. 

Still hard to escape the feeling that rule changes for Force and Upgrade Slot removal from a bunch of pilots maybe needs to be a bigger piece of the puzzle.

Edited by Boom Owl

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Wazat said:

IMO this takes us back to @theBitterFig's suggestion (or was it someone else?) that each ship or pilot should have X points baked into the cost of fielding it.  Those x points give a discount to upgrades spent, so if a Kihraxz cost 5 points more per ship but its first 5 points spent on upgrades were free, that would allow better ship pricing.

That is my pet idea, though someone else also thinking of it in a case of multiple discovery/creation would be flattering because it implies its a good enough idea that other people also thought of it.

3 hours ago, Wazat said:

those that rarely see play because their base cost + upgrades is too high do get a free points upgrade, allowing them to be fielded cheaper without lowering their base price below a threshold that creates a problematic efficiency list.

This is the idea, especially if you re-price 'efficiency' upgrades or make them unobtainable with these points. A good example of an upgrade this is NOT intended to help is crackshot. The idea is it allows weaker ships to have more versatile secondary effects (Crits from Marksman, better turning via daredevil, an Ion missile to allow them to assist in control elements, a bomb, ect) to allow them to be 'tech' ships, without lowering their prices. A big issue with ships that are essentially 'bad, but has slots to put stuff on them to maybe make them good' is that upgrades need to be priced assuming they are going on a good ship (though ideally not priced so they are on their optimal ship, if an upgrade-ship/pilot combo is too good but the upgrade generally isn't that good on other ships, the ship should go up, not the upgrade), which means that upgrading a bad ship means investing points into a bad ship in a way that doesn't really move the needle. A-wings, Scum Han, and a lot of mid sized low health utility ships like the HWK suffer from this a lot.

This allows ships that clearly need more help to get 'ghost points' essentially where you can 'bundle' things. For example, the generic A-wings really don't have a niche as a platform because many of their advantages over similar ships (1 green over the headhunter, shields and an extra total health vs TIEs) don't really make sense when your paying a premium for the boosting power it has when its initiative is bad. But you can't reduce its price to be too comparable to those ships because it is still an advantage, so your always forced to make the player pay for something that generally isn't useful. You can offset this boost tax by giving it the ability to rock more upgrades, so if you want a 'premium headhunter' then it makes sense to use the A-wing because even though it costs 7 more than he headhunter, as long as you think you can get value out of X upgrade points it may be worth it to get the boost and extra manuverability as a freebie. Meanwhile if you want a dirt cheap ship, you still go for the headhunter.

This would especially help factions defined by a combined arms kitchen sink named pilots approach, mainly Rebels and Non-Boba scum. I think it would especially be helpful to the iconic rebel ships that need to be good as part of 2.0's design philosophy (Mainly X-wings, which are supposed to be a litmus of game health) and A-wings (Which have been a sore spot among rebel fans for an age and a half). Even would let them fix problems like Rebel vs Scum Moldy Crow shenanigans where a title or upgrade is radically better on one ship than any other (because it lets you effectively make that title or upgrade cheaper on the ships that don't abuse it as hard). 

5 hours ago, gennataos said:

but he's right in that there's good stuff and there's bad stuff, there's good players and there's bad players...and a bunch of stuff in-between. 

The tournament data actually seems to indicate a lack of a middle, or at least the middle being extremely anemic, which is the real problem. Winrate disparities among the best lists and even the lists immediately after them in performance are very large.

That said, I do think its fair to say tempering your own expectations is good, some stuff is meant to be 'shoot the moon' stuff: If your flying the Electron Proton Bomb you know EXACTLY what your doing! The question is how good should the best list be compared to the middle list and the worst lists that still resemble viable lists, and I think its fair to say that is too high in X-wing, which has negative effects on tournament diversity and casual enjoyment. ideally the best lists, even if they are going to exist, should still be fun to fly against and not feel like your trapped in a cage with the Hulk for 75 minutes getting clobbered.

Quote

I disagree with this characterization but I'm too lazy to explain why

That isn't super helpful, and its hard to see why this wouldn't be true. Swarm lists tend to either be jousty swarms (Ex: Droids) or flanky swarms (ex: Ties). It stands to reason one Jousty swarm is going to be categorically the best because that is just how jousting lists work, and flanky swarms, while there is more nuance to them, still ultimately are about sacrificing some raw numerical advantage for the subtle advantage of not lining up to hit your opponent. Still, at the end of the day, either the TIE/ln or the TIE/Fo is going to be better at that game plan, or whatever other ship does that.

The fundamental nature of a swarm list is to apply raw efficiency, and the type of efficiency they apply can be directly compared, meaning the only real difference a swarm list can have is if its willing to make sacrifices to its efficiency to try to arc dodge. Because two swarm lists are primarily differentiated by how efficiently they bring dice to bear, one list is going to come out on top for each variation. Yeah, the flanky swarms may have subtle dial differences, but its unlikely that a blue 2 hard vs a white 2 hard is really going to be a big game changer here.

2 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Just saying that in many games of this sort

You keep trying to say that other wargames have a less diverse meta than X-wing. Could you elaborate on examples? Or are you just saying you think 3 out of 7 factions taking up as much of the meta they do is fine and it 'feels' ok to you?

Comparing X-wing to cardgames (Ex: HS, Magic, Netrunner in its hayday), Wargames (mostly 40k, but even AoS has decent diversity!), and competitive videogames (ex: Lol, Fighting games) shows a trend of low diversity among top end picks. MTG currently has 13 unique decks considered meta, 19 decks total including a few variant/teched versions, and 2 off meta decks. Warhammer has around 8 factions solidly able to claim to be 'top tier.'

The data for X-wing is that there are literally three lists seeing around a 70% play rate, and every other list seeing about a 1-2% play rate. This doesn't indicate health, this indicates a really extreme coking effect. This isn't exactly a shock, the entire idea of hyperspace rotation was because the meta was getting choked, and an explicit goal of the current rotation was to try to see if they could make one of the lists helping choke the meta (vader) go away, which only made the issue worse. I don't know of any competitive balance team that would be ok with a 50% play rate, 70% win rate strategy in any sort of deck/listbuilder game. It is almost a textbook example of what you don't want, and its pretty clear FFG has been unhappy with their inability to budge things which is why they have gotten more and more extreme (again, dropping generic X's to 40 points was a sort of 'nuclear balance option' and it didn't even work!).

I think we agree on most things, it is this specific point I just have to push back on, and I sincerely don't understand what context you are coming from to believe this besides maybe the L5R LCG (which had an infamously choked metagame at launch which is really bad in a game entirely about identifying with a faction) and maybe the GoT LCG (Which I have no familiarity with). That, or you weren't aware Elk Meta is gone from MTG (It got an emergency ban). Like it is frankly baffling to see someone asserting that it just 'looks fine' when it fits all the checkmarks for a really toxic meta. It would really be helpful to know what you are thinking of when your comparing this to other games, because I can't think of any wargames that are like this, so my mind is forced to wander to popular card games and just other hyper-competitive genres in general.

Quote

"Vader and Boba are similar

Vader can't outfight his equivalent points in X-wings (He can kill around 60 points worth before dying, assuming he has a FCS, meaning you lost 69 while your opponent lost 60), while Boba can (He beats 2 X-wings while only getting halved, meaning his side lost 40 something points and your opponent lost 80). This means, disturbingly, despite having some of the strongest ace abilities in the game, Boba is, in fact, a totally viable Jouster ship, which is probably why this Boba-Dengar combo is so popular (You can, with those two, actually out-joust some mid tier swarms).

There just is a massive difference between needing 4 4 dice shots to go down and 9 to go down, because the scope of uptime you need vs Vader is way smaller than vs Boba, which is why points fortressing on the Imp Aces list isn't actually a huge part of its power (It is fully possible to table Imp aces not just because you only need around 10 shots worth of uptime to finish it, but because they don't have rear arcs and pre-movement dial fixing, which results in them being much less deadly while running away). 

This isn't to say Vader hasn't been a problem in the game's history. He has, clearly, its why Hyperspace and points changes keep needling at him. But I don't think its that he can 1v1 a ship. Its more that there isn't a lot of draw to other things.

One thing that comes to mind is that most non-swarms-non aces are flying 4-5 pilots, with the 5 pilots generally incorporating more generics than named pilots. This may be part of the problem: a list of 4 named pilots is only 1 ship up on the aces which is not really that big an advantage to create the net to drag them down. Meanwhile, vs swarms, your generally down a full 2 ships or more, which again is a big disadvantage when it comes to how hard it will be to avoid losing ships very rapidly. It may be that the 'mid range' of ships needs to default to 5 hard, rather than this 'sometimes 4, sometimes 5.' deal that leaves 5 ship lists sorta in a 'swarm with one major thing' state, and 4 ship lists as 'A bunch of named pilots or generics with upgrades that don't move the dial enough to justify giving up board presence or arc control.' There just is a really big 'squeeze' on middle tier pilots where you want to set up some sort of synergy there but don't have a lot of room to do it.

Edited by dezzmont

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1 hour ago, Boom Owl said:

Not all aces need increases just a specific set, most of the “not in line with Poe” ones are listed below. 🙂 

Pilots:

  • Soontir +16 = 69
  • Vader +6 = 73
  • Grand Inquisitor +6 = 58
  • Duchess +8 = 50
  • Whisper +6 = 63 
  • Rex +4 = 85
  • Redline +3 = 55
  • Guri +0 = 64
  • Boba +8 = 93
  • Kylo +9 = 85
  • Holo +5 = 59
  • Anakin +4 = 66
  • Obi Wan +10 = 58
  • Plo +10 = 54
  • Sun Fac +0 = 54
  • Luke +4 = 66

Upgrades: 

  • +10-15 Advanced Sensors at i5-i6
  • +19 Slave 1 
  • +8 Maul
  • +2 Fifth Bro
  • +7-9 Passive Sensors at i5-i6
  • +7 Sense 
  • +3 Burners at i5-i6
  • +66 Precog and Super just to be sure

The boba increases and upgrade increases probably aren't enough since Old T would still fit with Maul/S1 with a 11 pt bid I think? Which maybe still ends up a problem. The empire increases leave Soontir Duchess GI 13 pts? Maybe not far enough with the Empire changes in general not sure. Ani Obi Plo would no longer fit unless all three are CLT or one is Mace. 7b Obi 7b Plo Ric still fits with regen toys on one ship. I think this prevents Luke Han Wedge and Kylo Vonreg Holo to which wasn't 100% intentional but whatever. Not sure what to do about i1-i4 force users like the TAP and Athersprites have but those probably should go up to I guess. 

Still hard to escape the feeling that rule changes for Force and Upgrade Slot removal from a bunch of pilots maybe needs to be a bigger piece of the puzzle.

See, I think I have some very basic problems with your methodology.

First, you’re clearly looking at the effects of your point increases holistically, in a sort of “X would then become too expensive to be run alongside Y and Z, and that’s the desired effect.” A certain (small) amount of that is fine, but artificially inflating pieces that just aren’t that good so that they can’t be paired with things you don’t want them paired with is not good. I am not a veteran player of this game, but I’m sorry, a piece as fragile, difficult to use, swingy, and variance prone as Soontir Fel should not even be close to 1/3 of the available points in cost. He’s got 3 hull. THREE. All it takes is 1-2 unlucky blank dice and a Direct Hit, and he’s toast. He’s absolutely unforgiving of mistakes. I think that costing is bonkers, and there are many, many others on this list that really just leave me speechless. And I think the only explanation is that you’re doing that “ensemble costing” thing. You want Fel to cost 70 points so that he can’t fit with... whatever else it is you’re afraid he’s gonna fit with. That feels bad. Manipulative. Limiting. And yes, balance is all about manipulations and limits, but when done well, it shouldn’t feel that way. This feels ham-handed.

Second: It’s too much, too fast. Even if this is where things “ought” to end up (which is very subjective), pulling this many strings this hard all at once is going to sure make it difficult to figure out which one undid the knot, and make solving the secondary knots these changes create all the more difficult.

I dunno. I’m listening, it’s just... 69 points for a ship that regularly evaporates in 1-2 decent attacks is just... wild. It leaves me wondering if we have enough common ground to work with.

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1 hour ago, dezzmont said:

You keep trying to say that other wargames have a less diverse meta than X-wing. Could you elaborate on examples? Or are you just saying you think 3 out of 7 factions taking up as much of the meta they do is fine and it 'feels' ok to you?

Comparing X-wing to cardgames (Ex: HS, Magic, Netrunner in its hayday), Wargames (mostly 40k, but even AoS has decent diversity!), and competitive videogames (ex: Lol, Fighting games) shows a trend of low diversity among top end picks. MTG currently has 13 unique decks considered meta, 19 decks total including a few variant/teched versions, and 2 off meta decks. Warhammer has around 8 factions solidly able to claim to be 'top tier.'

The data for X-wing is that there are literally three lists seeing around a 70% play rate, and every other list seeing about a 1-2% play rate. This doesn't indicate health, this indicates a really extreme coking effect. This isn't exactly a shock, the entire idea of hyperspace rotation was because the meta was getting choked, and an explicit goal of the current rotation was to try to see if they could make one of the lists helping choke the meta (vader) go away, which only made the issue worse. I don't know of any competitive balance team that would be ok with a 50% play rate, 70% win rate strategy in any sort of deck/listbuilder game. It is almost a textbook example of what you don't want, and its pretty clear FFG has been unhappy with their inability to budge things which is why they have gotten more and more extreme (again, dropping generic X's to 40 points was a sort of 'nuclear balance option' and it didn't even work!).

I think we agree on most things, it is this specific point I just have to push back on, and I sincerely don't understand what context you are coming from to believe this besides maybe the L5R LCG (which had an infamously choked metagame at launch which is really bad in a game entirely about identifying with a faction) and maybe the GoT LCG (Which I have no familiarity with). That, or you weren't aware Elk Meta is gone from MTG (It got an emergency ban). Like it is frankly baffling to see someone asserting that it just 'looks fine' when it fits all the checkmarks for a really toxic meta. It would really be helpful to know what you are thinking of when your comparing this to other games, because I can't think of any wargames that are like this, so my mind is forced to wander to popular card games and just other hyper-competitive genres in general.

I’ve played MTG for years. SWCCG for years before that. Armada. I have not played a ton of other list-building/customizable games. At least, not deeply. My knowledge is more “deep,” than “wide.”

That said, I’m glad to hear MTG has 13 viable competitive decks these days. I got sick of them being reckless and banning cards (as I have in the past), and gave it a rest for a while after the Elk problems you allude to. My previous break was after they decided to ban half the Kaladesh set.

I do not like having game pieces removed. It has to happen sometimes, but it’s always lousy. Especially when those pieces are marquee pieces (the Planeswalker Oko, banned from MTG, was the face of the set in which he was released. Embarrassing).

Of course, there have been other problem metas in MTG. They may well have 13 viable competitive decks right now, but most of the Standard game in the time I’ve seriously played it was dominated by 1-2 aggro decks, and typically 1-2 other decks at any given time, for a total of 4 or 5 at a time. The worst metas were just busted, awful affairs like the “Caw-go” and “Cawblade” decks which were literally untouchable by anything except the fastest of fast aggro. So when I see a game with this many options and what looks like 5+ viable lists that could be contenders, if the top list got knocked down a rung or two, yeah, it looks good. Does it need a fix? Yeah, maybe. I don’t have the deep history with this particular game to say for sure, but I’m coming around on Slave 1, Fett, or maybe the whole Firespray frame needing a decent adjustment. That alone *might* (might! I’m not being definitive or overreaching my limited knowledge!) be enough to loosen things up enough to see a half dozen or more lists come forward.

I have said time and again: I have not seen enough tournament lists to really get a  hold on the whole meta. More data is required. Part of the problem at the moment is that more data is not forthcoming, because there are no tournaments. Also, there has been precious little time for this meta to mature, and for problems like Fett (if a problem he is) to be solved.

What I’m mainly arguing against is the sheer size and scope of the changes being proposed.

Also, I just want to say, I like the Force mechanic. A lot. It does an excellent job of feeling like what it ought to be. I do wish some of the Force abilities felt more worthwhile; mostly the default Force seems to be the best way to use it. But everyone suggesting “fixes” for it... I dunno. I just want to clearly say I’m not on board.

 

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50 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

gave it a rest for a while after the Elk problems you allude to

Of course. The elk problems got so pervasive that it became a meme OUTSIDE MTG circles to jokingly end a conversation about game design problems with a variation on 'but none of this matters because they are just 3/3 elks anyway.'

51 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

(the Planeswalker Oko, banned from MTG, was the face of the set in which he was released. Embarrassing).

I would say that a big problem with the X-wing right now is the X-wing itself is bad. This was a huge problem in 1.0 as well, and there is a lot of frustration with the lack of diverse pieces, because every ship is someone's favorite. Not everything needs to be meta, but I actually took a month long break from X-wing when I got my 3rd A-wing when they were released for 2.0 just to try some janky fun with it and I realized that you really just can't get away with flying more than Jake. I have to actively avoid only talking about the A-wings problems because its my favorite ship and when I think about how bad the ship really is it makes me not want to play X-wing. So it is a similar problem but in reverse: Imagine if Oko was just so abysmal that he never saw play and was a 20 cent trash mythic, or if there was a rotation where all the iconic monocolor planeswalkers came back (Ajani, Chandra, ect) but one of them (Say... Jayce) was terrible and he just left standard for an age and a half while the other 4 kept having a good time.

54 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

but most of the Standard game in the time I’ve seriously played it was dominated by 1-2 aggro decks, and typically 1-2 other decks at any given time, for a total of 4 or 5 at a time. The worst metas were just busted, awful affairs like the “Caw-go” and “Cawblade” decks which were literally untouchable by anything except the fastest of fast aggro

Ah Cawblade. Stoneforge Mystic, what a mistake you were.

So I want you to imagine the feelings that jerk of a birb smacking you with a glowing sword made of food and hunger or fire and ice or whatever caused in you, when you had a remotely interesting deck that wasn't planning to win by turn 3 and it just couldn't work because Cawblade was too much of a meta wall. That is what people feel about Boba. 

However unlike MTG X-wing doesn't really have a great history with off meta decks. MTG metas vary in health, but we KNOW MTG metas can sustain a huge level of tier 1, 2, 3, and off meta decks. X-wing 2.0 has utterly failed to prove it can do this, despite many clear attempts to do so. This is why, despite not at all agreeing with the specifics of what the OP wants (Getting rid of Tri-aces forever seems like a BAD IDEA on many levels) I think it is, if not uncontroversial, at least not on its face a wacky idea to talk about deeper to the bedrock changes to help lists other than aces eventually reach the top spot for even one meta. What those changes are we will see, but I do strongly suspect it will happen both because tournaments starting up again is a good spot for the design team to basically soft launch a 'X-wing 2.5' because we experienced a hard break in the competitive scene's continuity, and because it seems they hit their panic button on keeping the X-wing relevant (again, a major promise of 2.0 was the X-wing would always be a relevant ship in... X-wing) and it didn't even really make a dent in its play rate. So more points changes seem unlikely in terms of reducing the price of weak iconic ships, so either they are going to nuke the points of aces up (Which is a bad idea, I think most of us can agree that aside from He Who Shall Be Named Lots we don't want these pieces to just leave the table), get REALLY silly with prices (Its hard to imagine generic X's going to like... 38 points and them dropping A-wings, headhunters, and Y's down as well but that is the next step, or change how lists are built or how initiative works. 

Like I can't imagine nothing happening, but I would hope its not active unkindness to aces and is more a change along the lines of 'hey, you know those cruddy ships that aren't points efficient? Here is a reason to use em!'

58 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Also, there has been precious little time for this meta to mature, and for problems like Fett (if a problem he is) to be solved.

Fett was in tournaments for months. I think it is fair to say he is really a problem, because even ignoring the time during the Backstreet Boys Reunion Tour need to social distance, we were around half way through the meta, basically 'mid season' and by that point Boba domination was in full swing.

1 hour ago, Cpt ObVus said:

What I’m mainly arguing against is the sheer size and scope of the changes being proposed.

Which proposed changes? OP's? Probably too much, yeah. I mean Vader always being in the top 3 is annoying for tournament players, but as a Filthy Casual myself I gotta say he doesn't feel super unfair despite clearly being a bit overpowered, simply because his 'gameplay loop' is a healthy one to be on the losing end of. Even if Vader is kicking your butt your still licking your lips salivating at the idea of that nerd wandering into just one too many arcs at a time so you can punch him and take his lunch money and then high five someone.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

It leaves me wondering if we have enough common ground to work with.

I think you and I are looking for two different things from the game and have very different experiences and context surrounding it. We disagree and probably don’t have much common ground here. Thats ok.

I still think it’s ok to challenge the fact that High 60s Soontir is considered unthinkable or outrageous or ham hands, whatever that means.

That feels disingenuous to me. If 69 makes people mad, fine I can understand why. Lets dial back the increase a few pts then. Would it still be impossible to imagine 63 pt Soontir as being a reasonable price? 

Luke is 62, I would argue that Soontir is as valuable or more valuable than Luke in a list. Vonreg, a directly worse iteration on Soontir is 57 points and feels spot on in that range provided Holo costed more than him and if you forget entirely that Soontir exists for 53. Fenn Rau is 68 pts and almost universally considered near correctly costed or possibly 1-2 pts cheap. I believe firmly that Soontir is not far off from Fenn Rau’s offensive and defensive profile. In some ways he exceeds Fenn’s power level in others he doesn't. Mobility is historically the hardest thing to “visualize” the cost on. But that doesn't change its extreme value with 2.0s reduced emphasis on AOE and Control. Everyone should be capable of admitting there is at least a bit of truth to the comparison to Fenn. Maybe not 69 pts but substantially more than 53 surely.

Looking at things across factions is imperfect because different faction aces are priced according to available wingmates in spots. But that calls into question Soontir’s cost to since he is in the faction with the greatest access to cheap ace wingmates. If 69 is to high for this fine, but 63 shouldn't raise eyebrows much. Remember we are describing a ship that we all a few pages ago generally agreed could reliably solo 80+ pts of 2 X-Wings. That of course doesn’t mean Soontir should cost 80 pts but 53 seems like a bit of a stretch. The devs have said Tie Fighters are used in part for balance, and I can say from experience that Soontir can for sure solo 3 Ties (66pts), and given thats what the devs sorta balance around 63-69 pts feels just about right to me 🙂

Call it Ham Hands all you want. It doesn’t change my opinion.

The only reason I pick on Soontir so much is that it’s representative of a general bias in support of keeping high init mobile passive mod ships like him at a discounted cost. Soontir is the mascot for that. And its shame to because like Poe and Fenn he is actually one of the better designed more interesting aces in the game for both players involved. As far as common ground all I can offer is that I greatly enjoy using and playing against Soontir. He is one of my favorite ships in the game to play along with Vader, Whisper, Duchess, Luke, Fenn, Poe and Kylo.

Thinking this should be my last reply on the subject though. Talking about something we just aren't going to agree on.

Edited by Boom Owl

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

I think you and I are looking for two different things from the game and have very different experiences and context surrounding it. We disagree and probably don’t have much common ground here. Thats ok.

I still think it’s ok to challenge the fact that High 60s Soontir is considered unthinkable or outrageous or ham hands, whatever that means.

That feels disingenuous to me. If 69 makes people mad, fine I can understand why. Lets dial back the increase a few pts then. Would it still be impossible to imagine 63 pt Soontir as being a reasonable price? 

Luke is 62, I would argue that Soontir is as valuable or more valuable than Luke in a list. Vonreg, a directly worse iteration on Soontir is 57 points and feels spot on in that range provided Holo costed more than him and if you forget entirely that Soontir exists for 53. Fenn Rau is 68 pts and almost universally considered near correctly costed or possibly 1-2 pts cheap. I believe firmly that Soontir is not far off from Fenn Rau’s offensive and defensive profile. In some ways he exceeds Fenn’s power level in others he doesn't. Mobility is historically the hardest thing to “visualize” the cost on. But that doesn't change its extreme value with 2.0s reduced emphasis on AOE and Control. Everyone should be capable of admitting there is at least a bit of truth to the comparison to Fenn. Maybe not 69 pts but substantially more than 53 surely.

Looking at things across factions is imperfect because different faction aces are priced according to available wingmates in spots. But that calls into question Soontir’s cost to since he is in the faction with the greatest access to cheap ace wingmates. If 69 is to high for this fine, but 63 shouldn't raise eyebrows much. Remember we are describing a ship that we all a few pages ago generally agreed could reliably solo 80+ pts of 2 X-Wings. That of course doesn’t mean Soontir should cost 80 pts but 53 seems like a bit of a stretch. The devs have said Tie Fighters are used in part for balance, and I can say from experience that Soontir can for sure solo 3 Ties (66pts), and given thats what the devs sorta balance around 63-69 pts feels just about right to me 🙂

Call it Ham Hands all you want. It doesn’t change my opinion.

The only reason I pick on Soontir so much is that it’s representative of a general bias in support of keeping high init mobile passive mod ships like him at a discounted cost. Soontir is the mascot for that. And its shame to because like Poe and Fenn he is actually one of the better designed more interesting aces in the game for both players involved. As far as common ground all I can offer is that I greatly enjoy using and playing against Soontir. He is one of my favorite ships in the game to play along with Vader, Whisper, Duchess, Luke, Fenn, Poe and Kylo.

Thinking this should be my last post on the subject though. Talking about something we just aren't going to agree on.

“Ham-handed.” It means imprecise, overly strong. 

I’m glad you’re offering some context on where you’re coming from. The comparisons to Fenn and Vonreg are illuminating.

I’m reaching the end of my energy for this as well, but I would appreciate your thoughts on this one final point. I think we kind of got to the point where it’s exhausting to discuss six things at once, so let’s just have one last question about Soontir Fel. Then I’m happy to say Thanks For Remaining Civil and Thanks For The Lively Debate, shake hands, and call it good. I definitely learned some things.

I’m going to go ahead and say that I haven’t yet gotten Fenn Rau to “work.” Only flown him a couple of times, and he’s (usually) fine as long as he never gets shot, or only gets shot at ranges 1 or 3... but he goes to pieces at range 2, or if (as has happened to me twice now), he suffers an attack at range 1 and you blank out on defense, or maybe get just one Evade. So my experience with Fenn is that it’s very hard to justify including him, as losing a third of my list (or getting it blasted so badly that all it can do is run) on one bad roll is just not an acceptable trade. I know he must be worth it once you get in enough practice, as everyone talks about how good he is. And I can see it, but he’s just a massive gamble for me at this point.

Vonreg and Fel, I’ve actually used quite a lot recently, and I think they are a pretty excellent parallel. They do share a number of similarities. In my opinion, however, Vonreg is slightly but meaningfully stronger.

First, dial: I’m giving a minor edge to Vonreg on this point. He’s got a bit more blue.

Second, pilot ability: both rely on bullseyes, Fel gets a Focus, Vonreg hands out Deplete or Strain... I prefer Vonreg by a hair here, too.

Ship abilities: Vonreg must choose between Lock and Roll, Fel chooses between Boost and Roll. Edge to Fel on the effect, but the cost?

Fel has to take a Stress for using this text (which is a big problem if left uncleared). 

Vonreg gets his choice of Deplete or Strain, both of which go away after a single attack/defense, or if cleared with a blue maneuver... but honestly, in a pinch, carrying a deplete token around for a turn or two isn’t gonna get Vonreg killed. Definite edge to Vonreg here.

Finally, the baseline stats: Nearly identical, except that rather than Fel’s 3 hull, Vonreg has 1 more total health, and TWO of that 4 health total is Shields, and he’s thus got a substantial amount of crit protection. That’s huge. Big edge to Vonreg. Vonreg also has better upgrade slots.

So when I look at Fel and Vonreg, and I see Vonreg at 57, and Fel at 53, and Vonreg (even to you) seems fairly costed... I can’t imagine how Fel, who loses to a Vonreg by almost every metric I examined above, should cost MORE than Vonreg. It just doesn’t compute at all.

So the question is: How can you ask for even a 63 point Soontir Fel (let alone 69), when a 57 point Vonreg seems okay? Do you disagree that Vonreg is better? Just because Fel’s ship ability allows Boost or Roll instead of Vonreg’s Lock or Roll? What am I missing?

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Vonreg and Fel, I’ve actually used quite a lot recently, and I think they are a pretty excellent parallel. They do share a number of similarities. In my opinion, however, Vonreg is slightly but meaningfully stronger.

First, dial: I’m giving a minor edge to Vonreg on this point. He’s got a bit more blue.

Second, pilot ability: both rely on bullseyes, Fel gets a Focus, Vonreg hands out Deplete or Strain... I prefer Vonreg by a hair here, too.

Ship abilities: Vonreg must choose between Lock and Roll, Fel chooses between Boost and Roll. Edge to Fel on the effect, but the cost?

Fel has to take a Stress for using this text (which is a big problem if left uncleared). 

Vonreg gets his choice of Deplete or Strain, both of which go away after a single attack/defense, or if cleared with a blue maneuver... but honestly, in a pinch, carrying a deplete token around for a turn or two isn’t gonna get Vonreg killed. Definite edge to Vonreg here.

Finally, the baseline stats: Nearly identical, except that rather than Fel’s 3 hull, Vonreg has 1 more total health, and TWO of that 4 health total is Shields, and he’s thus got a substantial amount of crit protection. That’s huge. Big edge to Vonreg. Vonreg also has better upgrade slots.

So when I look at Fel and Vonreg, and I see Vonreg at 57, and Fel at 53, and Vonreg (even to you) seems fairly costed... I can’t imagine how Fel, who loses to a Vonreg by almost every metric I examined above, should cost MORE than Vonreg. It just doesn’t compute at all.

So the question is: How can you ask for even a 63 point Soontir Fel (let alone 69), when a 57 point Vonreg seems okay? Do you disagree that Vonreg is better? Just because Fel’s ship ability allows Boost or Roll instead of Vonreg’s Lock or Roll? What am I missing?

I'm going to comment here so you're getting the perspective of someone who has a more positive opinion than @Boom Owl does on aces overall and Soontir in particular.

Soontir makes Vonreg look like a bad joke, and if they were in the same faction Vonreg would see play ahead of Fel exactly 0% of the time. Vonreg's only real advantage is the better dial and the synergy of his ship ability with Daredevil, which allows him to pull some maneuvers Soontir can't keep up with. But neither of those can compensate for the numerous advantages Fel enjoys.

For the pilot abilities, Fel's ability is superior by approximately an order of magnitude. Vonreg hands out a deplete or strain the turn after he lines the enemy up, if they can't reposition during the system phase (so decloak or Advanced Sensors often ruins him), and the enemy can negate the ability by just dialling in a blue move to immediately clear the token. Or, y'know, just leaving and having someone else come in to deal with Vonreg. To put that another way: myself and two other locals started flying TIE/bas extensively after they dropped. Between the three of us, we've had Vonreg's ability trigger and matter exactly once. We've gone entire games forgetting it even exists, it has so little impact most of the time.

In fact, it's just occurred to me as I type this that I would probably rate Vonreg's pilot ability as the worst of any i6 pilot in the game. His only competition would probably be Resistance Han.

Moving on, Fel's pilot ability allows him to pick up the best action in the game for free if he can meet the surprisingly easy condition of lining up his bullseye after moving last and using up to 2 repositions to get there. His ability makes him resistant to blocking, because unless he is blocked in a very specific way, he will have bullseye on the blocker and thus pick up a token. It allows him to maneuver more aggressively, as he can double-reposition (in either order) to dodge arcs and still line up a good, modified shot. And it allows him to joust on occasion, as he can combine Evade + Focus on command to shrug off the enemy's return fire if he fails to kill them.

Vonreg can do none of that. A blocked Vonreg is a dead Vonreg, and he cannot maneuver as aggressively because he has neither the ability to double-reposition and get mods, or the ability to token stack if he can't find a way out, and must choose whether to compromise his attack or defence in either case. He also can only double-reposition in a specific sequence, further decreasing his options.

Vonreg does have the edge on raw health, true, but as mentioned above, this is completely undone by the ship ability compromising his defences via the strain token.

As for the penalties for their abilities, Fel taking a stress for his ship ability is almost a complete non-factor. The Squint's dial is well-equipped to just clear it turn after turn, and Fel's pilot ability means that he can, on occasion, get away without clearing the stress if he's confident he'll line up the bullseye. I have seen, and indeed inflicted many game-ending hard-1s with a stressed Soontir who proceeded to take a Focus from his pilot ability and light someone up with Focus + Predator. While Vonreg is equipped to easily clear the Strain/Deplete, he doesn't really have that option to just ignore it when necessary.

To summarise, I'm going to quote a friend of mine: Vonreg should definitely be cheaper than Soontir, but Fel's price should probably start with a 6. I disagree with @Boom Owl when he says it should be as high as 69... but it should definitely start with a 6.

Edited by DR4CO

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22 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So the question is: How can you ask for even a 63 point Soontir Fel (let alone 69), when a 57 point Vonreg seems okay? Do you disagree that Vonreg is better? Just because Fel’s ship ability allows Boost or Roll instead of Vonreg’s Lock or Roll? What am I missing?

My guess is wingmates are one factor (also @DR4CO's assessment of Vonreg is spot on).  Empire has lots of high-init arc-dodgy aces that can fit into a list, while FO has nearly the same number of high-init arc-dodgy aces but they cost more.

The go-to aces list for FO is Vonreg with Kylo and Quickdraw; if you assume Quickdraw has Special Forces Gunner, you have 12 points to work with (a smidge more if you just give QD a missile).  Choose well if you want a bid.  You can go for Blackout instead of Kylo but importantly, you lose your force user (and blackout's ability isn't as exciting as 3 force, but at least he's still init 5).   Or Midnight if you don't care about being effective.  :P  There's also Lieutenant LeHuse or Holo as an init 5 option.  That's 6 options:

  • Kylo (76) I5
  • Blackout (63) I5
  • Vonreg (57) I6
  • Quickdraw (45, 55 with gunner) I6
  • Holo (54) I5
  • LeHuse (39, 49 with gunner) I5

One go-to aces list for Empire is Vader with Soontir and Whisper.  23 points spare, and if Vader takes Passive Sensors and Afterburners then Soontir and Whisper still get 14 points for toys and a bid.  If those ships don't get your rocks off then no worries, you have Maarek Stele, Grand Inquisitor, Pricey Rexler Brath, Duchess, and even Howlrunner, among others I don't see often.  This pool isn't that much larger by count (7 options just counting common choices), but cheaper per ship in general:

  • Rexler (81) I5
  • Vader (67) I6
  • Whisper (57) I5
  • Soontir (53) I6
  • Grand Inquisitor (52) I5
  • Maarek (45) I5
  • Duchess (42) I5

Rexler is an outlier here for his very high price, and not that commonly used in aces lists as a result.  In general, a 3-aces list in Empire has more room for upgrades and a bid than does a 3-aces list in FO.  Empire Force Aces (Vader 67, GI 52) are cheaper than FO Force Aces (Kylo at 76).  Are you really going to downgrade to Blackout for upgrades, or is the force too important?  Will you field a gunnerless Quickdraw and rely on missiles or gumption to free up points?  Or replace Quickdraw with someone else entirely?  You do have lots of options, but not quite as much free space to tetris a lean and high-bid list together.

As a side note, I think this more constrained design space is what Boom Owl wants to dial up to 11, and everyone's arguing dialing it up to volume 5 or 7 from 4 would be more appropriate.  ;)

Even if the FO ships are more effective for their higher points (which they might not be), that does give them less wiggle room for useful upgrades, and less room for a bid.  Empire has advantages in its cheaper pieces: more pilots fit together with upgrades, with a larger natural bid.  It's also nice that one of their force aces is their I6 of choice.

That's one reason why comparing Soontir to Vonreg isn't fully accurate; Soontir just has many cheap allies to work with, and he himself is a cheap ally for those ships.  Empire is a larger faction that specializes in cheap & delicate chassis, and more options naturally gives better choices overall for min/maxing.  If Empire only had Rexler, Vader, and Whisper as its best aces, and a few step-down backup options to free up points, that would be more like FO's situation.

 

This is a far cry from agreeing with all Boom Owl is arguing, but on this point I get that Soontir and Vonreg are not equal comparisons.  Vonreg is far less powerful because his allies choices aren't as strong.

Also, ya know, stress doesn't affect your combat effectiveness this round, while Vonreg has to drop his guard or his firepower for his bonus action.  And more reposition choices is pretty potent to be sure, advantage to soontir.  And Soontir's ability works even if the enemy is tokenless and doesn't care about agility (e.g. a Decimator), and as mentioned above, Vonreg's ability is pretty delayed until next round and far worse to try to use well.  Soontir is bump resistant... they're just a flawed one-to-one comparison right from the start.  @DR4CO's post explains it really well.

But all of this is separate from the fact that Vonreg and his allies are also naturally more squeezed for points to be effective.  It's part of the reason why I still like to fly Vonreg-Quickdraw-Kylo or other Vonreg triple ace lists; it's harder to squeeze out a goal design, and not as meta-right.  I also like flying Empire aces occasionally, but there are much clearer objectively-better fleet choices the meta demands of a list so it's a bit less interesting to explore... unless I'm toying with the nonmeta options on purpose (which is generally my purpose), in which case it becomes fun again.  I am, after all, putting Kestal on the table.  The meta can't contain me!  :D

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