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Kyle Ren

Musings on Third Edition

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Posted (edited)

Before I start, if your comment is "I already paid too much money for this game, I'm not paying for a 3.0" or "2.0 is perfect we don't need a 3.0" you don't need to make it. I've brought up this subject a number of times in a couple places and heard it all already. Ultimately, whether it's 1 or 10 years from now, and whether it's FFG making it or some other company (or just a bunch of committed fans), X-Wing is a cool game and will probably still exist, and it's going to evolve to the point where it's easier to just start from scratch. That's not abnormal, any healthy game has edition changes (technically some avoid it with extreme rotations but the hatred for hyperspace has proved that to not be an option). Anyway, rant about why I think I'm allowed to post this over, here's the post. 

Basically, third edition is going to happen, and going in, I'd like to start to collect ideas for what could be changed or fixed. Here's a couple that I'd add in there. 

1. SPAM

I've had this rant before but spam isn't just "oof ouch owies you have 8 vultures I don't wanna joust that" it means that your entire list is one archetype, and uses that one archetype to minmax the win condition. This is a problem because it increases matchup dependence. And I have heard people tell me that they LIKE matchup dependence (winning games before they start) but they like doing it through creative listbuilding. This isn't that, it's just, we flipped a coin and your list beats mine. I know that I'm exaggerating and it's not like the game's completely over, I can hope you mess up, but it's kind of annoying and painful. And ultimately, it results in a lot of NPEs. One such NPE is the whole "ace" thing. I hate the word ace in the first place but that's besides the point, there's a problem when your entire list moves after mine and has tons of passive mods or whatever. Boom Owl has a thread about this right now. I've made a thread about this in the past but "aces" are just ONE example (the most prevalent RIGHT NOW) of hurtful spam. I call them spam even if they're all named pilots because they fill similar roles and are basically the same sort of thing. 

So what do we do about this? I want, for third edition, unit types, just like in Legion or a slew of other board games. Here's an example of how this might play out if implemented right now in hyperspace First Order (I'm picking them because that's a small card pool). 

Class (max number allowed, min number allowed, max squadpoints)

Squad Leader (1,0,90) - Blackout, Kylo, Vonreg, Holo, LeHuse, Midnight
Recon (2,0,100) - all other /BAs, all other Silencers
Special Forces (3,0,110) - all other /SFs WITH the Gunner, all TIE/FOs i3+
Fighter (5,1,150) - low init TIE/FOs, SFs without the Gunner

Obviously other classes could probably exist for other factions, FO maybe is missing some roles that other factions might have ships to fill? Four classes may be enough though. 

2. FORCE

I think it's fair to say that Force is neat thematically, ok (?) game-balance-wise, and terrible game-design wise. Why? First theme - yeah I love that the Force, one of the most iconic plot devices in any movie franchise, is in the game, and it really does make Force users feel special. Next, game balance. I think some force users are above the power curve, some are below, mostly it's fine I guess, [grumbles]. Game design is appalling though. It's just not a rewarding mechanic. It's always on, and as such rewards you more for BAD plays by comparison. I want game mechanics that feel EARNED and reward GOOD playing. How could the Force be fixed?

One solution I see is to just not have its default effect. Force is a special charge that can be spent for special abilities. And then add some more special abilities. Also would probably require another default ability or two. I'm not sure what these could be but just listing off some things that feel earned:

Someone landing in your bullseye. I guess I'm thinking of Foresight. Bullseyes aren't as earned if you move last but they feel earned if you move first or someone just volunteered to land in them.
Lining up double mods. This might be convoluted but some way of keeping a target lock if you spend both a target lock and a focus feels fair to me, because saving target locks and then getting TL+focus attacks feels like you did a good job. 
Not needing actions. I guess this is kinda a stretch but like, if you're just in the right place and don't need any more actions, maybe the force could reward you somehow? Not sure how though. 

I think it's safe to say I need help coming up with alternatives, I just know as someone who flies a lot of Force-wielding pilots something seems wrong. 

3. REACTION

I think there's a balance here. Some amount of reactive play adds to the fun of the game I think. If Soontir can't reposition at all, it feels less earned to nuke him with my swarm. But I think it's fair to say some ships have too much reaction. I'm especially thinking of things like advanced sensors (esp. starvipers), supernatural reflexes, slave 1, Hera... It's just not earned when you can be in two spots opposite the map from each other. I don't think I can go all the way and advocate a Runewars-style action dial but it's worth considering how we could tone down the amount of reactive play the person who moves last has. This would also help with the pace of the game, as people could spend less time thinking about where to move their highly maneuverable ship. 

4. PASSIVE MODS IN GENERAL

Passive dice mods are bad. See 2. FORCE

5. TOURNAMENT GAMEPLAY

I think it's fair to say there's some core problems with this game competitively. The main problems I see are
a.) precision (bumping stuff, wiggle room, etc.)
b.) time (slow play, stalling, fortressing)
c.) staleness? like the game just feels kinda... flat for a lot of people 

so for point (a) I don't think there's much we can do short of adopting a hex grid, which changes the game too far beyond recognition to really be the same game we all know and love. For point (b) I don't really know the answer because you have to have some time limit for tournament rounds but it just feels bad. Thoughts? Round counter? Also can be exploited right? And for point (c) I think objectives are great, something like the Legion objective system or the ones found in the recent obstacle and bomb packs (the titles of those packs elude me) would be great. Also we really do need a competitive banlist for ALL premier play, including worlds, be it in the form of Hyperspace or something else, "all the cards ever printed are legal" just isn't gonna work for competitive play. 

6. PREMEASUREMENT

I'm so sick of having to worry about when everyone measures stuff. It's a whole ton of needless rules. As a person with very good mind-sight (is that the right term for it? I promise I'm not bragging there's lots of stuff it makes me bad at, it's just a character trait) I find it really not earned that I can look at the table and say "yeah a 2 bank fits" and someone else can't. That feels earned for about the first hundred games of X-Wing you play and then everyone knows it and it's just a formality that makes new players feel terrible. Learning the shapes is our equivalent of "grinding" in video games and I just don't like it. We really need to re-evaluate who's allowed to measure what and when, because it seems super backwards to anyone from any other game system and I just don't like it, even if it gives me a (sometimes severe) advantage I wouldn't have otherwise had. 

 

This isn't a complete list, I mean to add to this thread as I think of more things, and I hope other people add too, just wanted to get some thoughts out there. 
 

Edited by Kyle Ren

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Posted (edited)

oh as I'm coming up with all this new stuff I thought of perhaps the biggest!

COMPLEXITY CREEP

There's so many rules! It gets really overwhelming for new players. As an example I really don't think we need all these different tokens, we could probably yeet all the orange tokens, cloak, and reinforce right out of the game and it wouldn't even matter that much

Edited by Kyle Ren

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Far too early. Hopefully FFG survives the recession, and we cont7nue with a thriving 2nd ed.

But as you opened the topic, and as a thought experiment:

-Objectives

Would really spice up the boring 400/6 killing spree deathmatch!

It slightly heightens the value of bring true generalist squads, though.

-Force

Needs a change, current force is just stupid easy mode.

-Spacing of attack and defense values.

The current range is too small, 1 att is worthless, 2 att to 3 att is a large difference, 3 att/def to 4 is an immensely powerful step. Makes ship design difficult, and leads to many awkward ships (word bloat), as you have difficulties to separate niches, and thus need to separate new ships by abilities.

Increasing number of dice would allow for less coarse increments. It increases total variance (more all zero/all crit), however also gives more bell curve shape (more "mean/median" results). Alternatively you could have different types of attack dice, e.g black with more hits. 

-Bombs

1 hour ago, Kyle Ren said:

oh here have another tiny one, bomb cards should tell you what they do, on the back or something if there's not enough room on the front. 

It was a chaotic mess in 1 ed as well, spread out everywhere, despite being on cards. The advantage with the bomb effect being not on the cards in 2nd ed allows balancing changes. E.g, seismics were changed, which would have needed a hard errata on the card, but now only was a change in the rules.

-Pips

Dots marking uniqueness are not on the pilot cards (precise hunter), but in the pdf/sqd builder. Makes balancing easier.

-Spam

I do not like being forced into always same config: leader+ stuff. You also do not have the "Battleships" Resistance Bomber, Upsilon, Ghost etc in your class design.

The model you propose has value for game balance (I know it from e.g. GW's "Man o War"), but it makes more sense for a fleet game like Armada. X-wing is skirmish. And you would really eliminate some fun squads.

It would however also eliminate the "Flying Circus All Ace Spam", which can be good for game balance.

-Keyword/Technical writing control

FFG really needs to hire an expert technical writer, who has a tight control on the rules terms and keywords. FFG messes up over and over again, leading to pilots with relatively similar terms work totally different in a similar situation. Plus some back-and-forth rules changes from them, which makes it excruciating being a judge.

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I want to be able to field a full squad of the same ship, in any edition, simply because theme and looks. In a game like warhammer, makes sense to have leaders, support and elite troops, because of scale. In X-wing, with up to 8 models representing 1 ship/pilot each, having them all be a single chassis is fine. Dont want to fly against 8 of the same? Too bad, is part of the game. I might not like flying against 3 super arc dodging aces, yet they are part of the game. So talk to your opponent to agree in a matchup fun for both.

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Posted (edited)

RE: Anti-Spam/List Caps/Pips

Mostly, I'm not a fan.

  • I don't think something like 5 T-65 or 8 TIE/fo is a problem.  I just don't have an issue with spam lists per se.  The ships need to be balanced, to be sure, but if someone wants to run all Vultures, so what?
    • Meanwhile, lists are pretty small.  This is Kill Team not regular 40K, and the maximum scale of spam is small enough that it doesn't really create game-warping problems.
  • Pips and List Caps, in particular, can't be used in place of balancing ships.
    • If Kylo is too strong, he's too strong even if you can't put him into a list with Vonreg and Quickdraw.
    • I'm all for FFG being flexible with pips, so that something like Discord Missiles could be reduced to 2-per-list, but again, this doesn't replace balance.
      • Example: Juke.  Even if Juke was a 2-pip card, it'd need to stay at the current 7 points.  Returning Juke to the original 4 points would be nutty in a Phantom/Defender/3rd-ship list.  I have no problem with FFG having the tool in their box, but frequently it won't matter.  Balance has to be right.
4 hours ago, Managarmr said:

-Keyword/Technical writing control

FFG really needs to hire an expert technical writer, who has a tight control on the rules terms and keywords. FFG messes up over and over again, leading to pilots with relatively similar terms work totally different in a similar situation. Plus some back-and-forth rules changes from them, which makes it excruciating being a judge.

This.  Massively this.  Standardizing language would be really good.  Keywords could be a great part of that.

6 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

2. FORCE

One solution I see is to just not have its default effect. Force is a special charge that can be spent for special abilities. And then add some more special abilities.

I don't necessarily dislike this.

I'd be inclined to let all Light-side pilots have Force as a default effect for defense, and all Dark-side pilots to have force as a default effect for attack.  After that, just force powers and abilities.  Of course, we'd need to see more force powers out there.  Something like Brilliant Evasion vs Hate becomes a really interesting choice for a Dark Side pilot in a situation where the Force doesn't have a default defensive effect.

Sure, it's still access to passive mods, but I don't necessarily have a problem with that: folks just need to pay for it properly.

Edited by theBitterFig

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

Basically, third edition is going to happen, 

and it's going to evolve to the point where it's easier to just start from scratch.

While I agree with the first part, I disagree with the second.  The game might need some tweaking (and enough tweaks to call it a new edition), but a wholesale reboot every single time a new edition happens would be a very bad idea.  Left-over outdated 1.0 stock and conversion kit miss-matches are currently killing the game. . .let's not do that twice.

And I'm just going to come at this with a casual player POV, cuz that's me.

Quote

1. SPAM

Class (max number allowed, min number allowed, max squadpoints)

Squad Leader (1,0,90) - Blackout, Kylo, Vonreg, Holo, LeHuse, Midnight
Recon (2,0,100) - all other /BAs, all other Silencers
Special Forces (3,0,110) - all other /SFs WITH the Gunner, all TIE/FOs i3+
Fighter (5,1,150) - low init TIE/FOs, SFs without the Gunner

Obviously other classes could probably exist for other factions, FO maybe is missing some roles that other factions might have ships to fill? Four classes may be enough though. 

Oddly, what you are asking for is "baby wings" for Standard play.  Which I think would be a great theme.

Personally, I could care less about Spam.  In fact, as an Epic player, Spam is essential to make the game go smoothly.

Quote

2. FORCE

I think it's fair to say that Force is neat thematically, ok (?) game-balance-wise, and terrible game-design wise. Why? First theme - yeah I love that the Force, one of the most iconic plot devices in any movie franchise, is in the game, and it really does make Force users feel special. Next, game balance. I think some force users are above the power curve, some are below, mostly it's fine I guess, [grumbles]. Game design is appalling though. It's just not a rewarding mechanic. It's always on, and as such rewards you more for BAD plays by comparison. I want game mechanics that feel EARNED and reward GOOD playing. How could the Force be fixed?

One solution I see is to just not have its default effect. Force is a special charge that can be spent for special abilities. And then add some more special abilities. Also would probably require another default ability or two. I'm not sure what these could be but just listing off some things that feel earned

Yeah, I think I would agree with all this.  In fact, you could give back the "base abilities" as Force Talents that a player needs to choose in advance; then a pilot could only mod defense/only mod attack/mod both but at appropriate price points for the "strength" of the Force user.  Also, Defense = Light and Attack = Dark could then be a thing.

Quote

3. REACTION

In Epic this sort of thing matters so little, I really don't encounter it as a problem.  I'll space your ace, reactive or no, with massed fire.

Quote

4. PASSIVE MODS IN GENERAL

Passive dice mods are bad. See 2. FORCE

100% agree here.

Quote

5. TOURNAMENT GAMEPLAY

I think it's fair to say there's some core problems with this game competitively. The main problems I see are
a.) precision (bumping stuff, wiggle room, etc.)
b.) time (slow play, stalling, fortressing)
c.) staleness? like the game just feels kinda... flat for a lot of people 

As a casual player, the only thing I truly care about is C.  FFG has begun to invest in the Battlefield, and things like Environment Cards need to become a regular feature for play of all kinds.  Why tournament players would be resistant to Environments and then complain the game is stale is a bit of an oxymoron IMHO.

Quote

6. PREMEASUREMENT

As a casual player, if you are not obviously trying to cheat, I could care less.

7 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

COMPLEXITY CREEP

There's so many rules! It gets really overwhelming for new players. As an example I really don't think we need all these different tokens, we could probably yeet all the orange tokens, cloak, and reinforce right out of the game and it wouldn't even matter that much

If the game doesn't get more complex, then it gets stale, which is already a concern of yours.

Dumbing the game down for all the rest of the players to accommodate new players is not going to keep the game going.  The basic game exists in the Starter Box.  New players don't have to go any further than that.

But to retain veteran players, the game needs to break new ground.  Since FFG seems unwilling to go down the road of Objectives, the game needs to add ship mechanics.  Overall, what would you propose to eliminate the game getting stale??

7 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

oh here have another tiny one, bomb cards should tell you what they do, on the back or something if there's not enough room on the front. 

Yeah, this.

5 hours ago, Managarmr said:

-Keyword/Technical writing control

FFG really needs to hire an expert technical writer, who has a tight control on the rules terms and keywords. FFG messes up over and over again, leading to pilots with relatively similar terms work totally different in a similar situation. Plus some back-and-forth rules changes from them, which makes it excruciating being a judge.

But especially this.  This game needs keywords, not just for abilities and rules, but also as another layer in which to design.  For example, Pirate, Bounty Hunter, Wing Leader, Black Sun, Hutt Cartel, Mandalorian, Red/Blue/Black/et al Squadron, etc.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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I’ve been thinking about force charges and the complaints about how force is “easy mode”.

 

How about limiting the range for force users? Weak force users (Inquisitors, Jedi knights, etc) can only use force charges while at range 1 while the stronger force users (Vader, Kenobi, etc) may use their force charges at range 2 or possibly 3. When I say limiting the range for force users I’m only talking about a force charges default use, not special force abilities.

 

I’m not sure if anyone else has brought this up. My apologies if it has. 🍻

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9 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

As a person with very good mind-sight (is that the right term for it? I promise I'm not bragging there's lots of stuff it makes me bad at, it's just a character trait) I find it really not earned that I can look at the table and say "yeah a 2 bank fits" and someone else can't.

1024@Monkey-Looking-Away-Meme-53204f7e.jpg

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9 hours ago, Managarmr said:

-Pips

Dots marking uniqueness are not on the pilot cards (precise hunter), but in the pdf/sqd builder. Makes balancing easier.

hey, thanks for all the thoughts, I appreciate all of them, just wanted to single this one out as something I super agree with, I've seen this brought up a number of times before and I think this would be a great way to fix a lot of breaking points in the game without worrying about the whole "oh man 5 of this thing fits now, that's gonna be OP" 

5 hours ago, LUZ_TAK said:

I want to be able to field a full squad of the same ship, in any edition, simply because theme and looks. In a game like warhammer, makes sense to have leaders, support and elite troops, because of scale. In X-wing, with up to 8 models representing 1 ship/pilot each, having them all be a single chassis is fine. Dont want to fly against 8 of the same? Too bad, is part of the game. I might not like flying against 3 super arc dodging aces, yet they are part of the game. So talk to your opponent to agree in a matchup fun for both.

sounds like you're talking about a casual game, for which this wouldn't matter anyway. I understand a lot of game decisions are made based on feels/theme because star wars is important to a lot of us regardless of the game. that being said, I think there's some decisions that need to be made based on competitive game balance rather than the theme. 

I for one have never seen a competitive player with a hyperspace list refuse to play against someone's casual extended list at a game night so I think that a competitive format and a light-rules casual format can definitely coexist. 

5 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

RE: Anti-Spam/List Caps/Pips

Mostly, I'm not a fan.

  • I don't think something like 5 T-65 or 8 TIE/fo is a problem.  I just don't have an issue with spam lists per se.  The ships need to be balanced, to be sure, but if someone wants to run all Vultures, so what?
    • Meanwhile, lists are pretty small.  This is Kill Team not regular 40K, and the maximum scale of spam is small enough that it doesn't really create game-warping problems.
  • Pips and List Caps, in particular, can't be used in place of balancing ships.
    • If Kylo is too strong, he's too strong even if you can't put him into a list with Vonreg and Quickdraw.
    • I'm all for FFG being flexible with pips, so that something like Discord Missiles could be reduced to 2-per-list, but again, this doesn't replace balance.
      • Example: Juke.  Even if Juke was a 2-pip card, it'd need to stay at the current 7 points.  Returning Juke to the original 4 points would be nutty in a Phantom/Defender/3rd-ship list.  I have no problem with FFG having the tool in their box, but frequently it won't matter.  Balance has to be right.

I agree that squad unit type caps won't fix everything, but I think it's a start. I for one hate triple ace lists and don't want to see them. but it applies to other lists too. I think Bob's Builders in first edition is another example of something we could use this to eliminate (it would be three "recon" units). also I think a lot of people worry about break points with a lot of ships. I'm not worried about 5X purely because it's a worse BBBBZeb, which already existed. but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the Lothal Rebel. should 3 Ghosts be allowed to fit? I think everyone knows that the fair cost for that ship is below 66 but it's kept high because very few people want to play against three of them. 

Kylo is a funny example because First Order doesn't have a ton of options compared to some other factions. More the kind of thing I'm thinking of is the Empire's entire meta right now. Vader, Soontir, Whisper, Duchess, Vynder, etc., the Empire has a lot of options for triple force ace, which if you listen to Oli talking about his worlds list sounds really bad. He's on the record as saying it's actually a jousting list. triple force aces really just breaks the game in a way that I don't think is good, and I think even the most casual players would agree isn't thematic (the only faction I can think of that would fly a bunch of high initiative force users is the Republic, and their theme is more supposed to be a bunch of clones escorting Jedi commanders, since the Jedi are spread out across the Galaxy)

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5 hours ago, ToiletPaper Fiend said:

I’ve been thinking about force charges and the complaints about how force is “easy mode”.

 

How about limiting the range for force users? Weak force users (Inquisitors, Jedi knights, etc) can only use force charges while at range 1 while the stronger force users (Vader, Kenobi, etc) may use their force charges at range 2 or possibly 3. When I say limiting the range for force users I’m only talking about a force charges default use, not special force abilities.

 

I’m not sure if anyone else has brought this up. My apologies if it has. 🍻

I like the idea, but I would take it a slightly different direction and say you have to spend a force per range band. That way you have to both be a 'more powerful' force user and it drains you more for greater distance.

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1 hour ago, Kyle Ren said:

I agree that squad unit type caps won't fix everything, but I think it's a start. I for one hate triple ace lists and don't want to see them. but it applies to other lists too. I think Bob's Builders in first edition is another example of something we could use this to eliminate (it would be three "recon" units). also I think a lot of people worry about break points with a lot of ships. I'm not worried about 5X purely because it's a worse BBBBZeb, which already existed. but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the Lothal Rebel. should 3 Ghosts be allowed to fit? I think everyone knows that the fair cost for that ship is below 66 but it's kept high because very few people want to play against three of them.

  • RE: Triple Ace: I guess I'm just not a fan of overly elaborate artificial constructs to constrain it (well, other than Hyperspace), and think mostly points can address it.  There's also reasonable all-aces lists, Triple Init 4 Jedi, or Striker Aces + 4th ship, or such.  The key is that it's too expensive to run higher-init aces, or higher-init aces with all the toys they need.
    • Points can do it better, and a good and rotating Hyperspace keeps things vibrant and can break up ships which keep hanging out together.
    • I don't want to have to worry "oh the B-Wing is a Heavy, and the X-Wing is a Recon, but this other X-Wing pilot is a Commander, so I can't run... blah blah blah."  That just seems like a nightmare of complexity that's not really worth it.  If rules complexity is an issue, adding this amount of list complexity seems, well, frankly worse.
  • RE: Triple Ghost: Honestly, I haven't given Triple VCX a thought in ages.  No clue what the right thing to do with frankly any Lothal Rebel is.
    • Maybe it actually would benefit from being limited to one or two, but I can't really think of other ships where I'd apply that same cap.  Not even TIE Defenders.  I'm probably a minority in this, but I'm shocked FFG has kept lowering the price of the Delta.  They've always felt good to me.
    • The related Triple Upsilon list, IMHO, should have been fixed with an errata to Dormitz, to allow only small or small and medium ships to get the forward deploy.  Without that leap ahead, Triple Upsilon isn't a problem list.
  • RE: Kylo: it was just an example since you'd brought up the First Order.  Again, I think costs are the key.  If Kylo is fairly priced, and can only afford Vonreg and a generic Silencer, great.  If Kylo is too cheap and can run with Vonreg and QD, well, that's more likely an issue of bad pricing rather than a listbuilding system that lets folks fly what they want.
    • And again, Hyperspace.  QD can be rotated out, and maybe when they get rotated back in, Vonreg comes out, or Kylo.

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Ah, how fondly I remember when I was part of the second edition heretics club back in the day. All those threads I was in, and the ones I started, and all of them died. All the nay sayers we fought together. Gooooood tiiiimmes😊

Anyway, so Third Edition. Right. Only two immediate things that come to mind that were things that we had back in the first edition as ideas for second. One kinda-sorta-ish made it, and the other they mentioned they looked at and considered, but discarded in development. 

Objectives as the norm play mode is really, REALLY, needed. Some have already hit on this in the thread, but this is a line item going back literally to near the beginning of XWM. The fact that after all the improvement 2nd brought us that this item started showing back up again within such a short time, tells me that it's just simply something the game needs to stay fresh everyone everytime you sit down with it. Notably, XWM is the only SW minis game in FFG production that doesn't use a terrain/objective system as a core mechanic.

For a solution, let's just use the environment cards already. I think they're decent. The most common thought of 'objectives' akin to what Armada or like 40k use are far harder to implement in XW due to its unique mechanics. Games are faster for one. Things can die or live on the whim of a single turn which hampers thinks like 'kill target X' or 'object Y must survive'. Static positions are near impossible to maintain for things like 'control zone A' or even 'capture point B' without some setup on the players part, that the opponent may not have any interactable play without also some pre-planning.

But let me separate this paragraph for emphasis. Just changing the battle zone brings a lot to the table, such that maybe you don't need the more traditional concepts of an objective. It feels like in games where the battlefield is changed that the 'objective' as it were can become 'emergent' via the narrative created by the situation.

If nothing else, objectives for fighter battles can be pretty straightforward without something on the table to truly represent a Target, where Epic lends itself to nicely anyway, and has done a nice job implementing such features anyway.

Enough on that. Getting carried away... Again... Sorry.

The other item: Dice. Oh X-wing, what are we to do with your dice. For years it's been known that the games dice, while brilliant and innovative have had a less than desirable outcome on the game. They simply cannot distinguish between the power of a shot and the accuracy of the same shot. In 2nd edition a lot of this got addressed when they got rid of many four die attacks and even the one slip up 1 die attack. They went even further in Epic to distinguish turbolasers by giving them a damage bonus while keeping a 3 die attack to establish accuracy, which was fine and brilliant.

However for all that they still backslid on the issue as a whole. It's interesting to note that many of the ships that make it into high-end play simply have the ability to add a die as the common denominator. Because that not only changes their accuracy, but also their damage output and consistency in either is critical for a good game plan. Lu'lo, Ric, any Fang pilot, Rey/Finn(for like a minute), Just Finn, and others all enjoy this quirk. After all these, I would hope we all can see that the dice system we have, even when you only separate its numbers by one, is still very flawed at it's core.

For solution, this one is harder. FFG seems completely adamant on not invalidating previous game content, particularly promotional. Which is fine and great and makes sense. And since they already distributed all those prize dice, they can't just say they don't matter now. Fair enough. So they either have to use the same dice with a new written formula like they have started doing with Epic turbolasers, or add new dice to the existing pool. Which way they go, I could care less. But it'd really like to see something give on this one.

Those are my 'big' ones. And now for something completely different in rapid fire remarks to get it out. I really don't want to see any formation dictates as have been discussed, leave me the swarms and the aces list, I'll deal, That doesn't bother me. Premeasure with a ruler all you want, just not the templates, you'll learn the geometry eventually, I got no problems. Force should absolutely get addressed, I think it should just turn a blank into a focus to represent that 'extra something' if you just reach out and feel it. Reacting is a big rabbit hole for this game and a discussion until itself that I'll get to one day. Passive mods are bad *in excess and when without costs*. Still true today. Tournament gameplay needs people with more patience, not time restrictions, though some more precise handling *cough I saw you hit that rock but fudge it and fake it whatever cough* would be greatly appreciated.

Aaaaaannnnd scene lol

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ForceSensitive said:

 

The other item: Dice. Oh X-wing, what are we to do with your dice. For years it's been known that the games dice, while brilliant and innovative have had a less than desirable outcome on the game. They simply cannot distinguish between the power of a shot and the accuracy of the same shot. 

Mostly, I agree with what you said.

But LOL this.

WE ARE PLAYING A 3D SPACE GAME ON A 2D BOARD.

Just as a table cannot represent a 3rd dimension, the dice are only representations of combat interactions.  I don't disagree that some tweaks to creating variance would be good (given that +1 die is a no-brainer), but having dice to represent the Fog of War and Great Shot Kid isn't really the issue. 

Tossing dice is the excitement of the game. 

Tossing the dice from the game is not a fix.  (I realize you didn't suggest this, but you seemed on the verge....)

Edited by Darth Meanie

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2 hours ago, Darth Meanie said:

Mostly, I agree with what you said.

But LOL this.

WE ARE PLAYING A 3D SPACE GAME ON A 2D BOARD.

Just as a table cannot represent a 3rd dimension, the dice are only representations of combat interactions.  I don't disagree that some tweaks to creating variance would be good (given that +1 die is a no-brainer), but having dice to represent the Fog of War and Great Shot Kid isn't really the issue. 

Tossing dice is the excitement of the game. 

Tossing the dice from the game is not a fix.  (I realize you didn't suggest this, but you seemed on the verge....)

Oh heavens no I don't want to get rid of the dice. You have to keep them. I have been pro dice for exactly the theme reason you describe from the beginning of the discussion oh so many years ago. I thoroughly enjoy the tension and risk it brings to the game and don't think it would be X-wing without them. But I know where your coming from, I've had to deal with the anti-dice minority for all those years. 

I'm for strictly as I stated: modify the dice mechanic in such a way that the addition of a single die doesn't leave the same gap it does now. Like, I consider it ridiculous that we even had to put a cap on dice rolled the way they did recently. That just shows how out of control it got that they had to put a control back in.

I'm thinking like in our hypothetical 3rdEd we borrow back from the mini SW games that came after like Armada, Legion, and ImpAssault (wait, that's all of them lol) and get variant dice in addition to the current ones. Like a 'heavy' and an 'accurate' one. Add in an 'armor' die too if we want. Even if this means additional icon types. That way we can limp Bizkit it up and keep on rolling baby 😜

Come on DM, I thought you knew me better than that 😁 I could go look up some past conversations if it'll help prove I've not changed my mind on this for years.

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I feel that distinguishing between the power and accuracy of a shot would only add an extra step and slow the game down. If you just look at the game from one level higher you would talk about weapon effects (accuracy + power) and, to me, that’s what the dice represent. 3 dice are more effective than 2, perhaps it’s a bigger gun perhaps it’s got better targeting, perhaps both. For a simple quick game like this, one roll and a counter roll is sufficient.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

looking at Armada dice with multiple symbols on a face just makes me weirdly nervous lol

"ok lemme attack with this B-Wing... oh wow six hits!" 

Lol clearly we would have to avoid it getting too crazy. But note, those six hits could get cancelled by just three Evades if your new system treats Evades as cancelling whole dice and not just individual icons. That would be a separation between accuracy and damage by itself which would accomplish the goal.

And maybe you still need aHLC on that B to get that level of damage potential.

Edited by ForceSensitive

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2 minutes ago, ForceSensitive said:

Lol clearly we would have to avoid it getting too crazy. But note, those six hits could get cancelled by just three Evades if your new system treats Evades as cancelling whole dice and not just individual icons. That would be a separation between accuracy and damage but itself which would accomplish the goal.

yeah I was just making a random comment, to be more serious I see pros and cons of the current system. I like that attacks can be glancing blows. when I roll two attack dice on a TIE for example, I like to think that it's my two different cannons firing simultaneously. if only one die gets through, it makes sense that it's half of my possible damage output because only one of the two beams hits. 

In your system, to simulate that sort of thing, every ship would need to make several bonus attacks per round, which, while more realistic, would make the game too complicated to be playable in a reasonable amount of time in my opinion. 

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Isn’t second edition only about two years old? Are we really talking about third edition? I really thought this must be a joke post at first. 

As for the actual content, I think I respectfully but very thoroughly disagree with most of this. Adding new dice is a *********** of impossibility in a game of this age. The Force is a fantastic, elegant system that bends the game for Force users about as much as it probably should. And the cost is figured into the pilots. And if you’re careless with it, you get caught with your pants down and killed. I think most of the actual Force power upgrades need work; Supernatural Reflexes, Sense, & Hate are pretty good, but most of the others don’t seem worth it most of the time. Objective-based gameplay probably would improve things as well, but guys, seriously: Third Edition?

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11 hours ago, ForceSensitive said:

Oh heavens no I don't want to get rid of the dice. You have to keep them. I have been pro dice for exactly the theme reason you describe from the beginning of the discussion oh so many years ago. I thoroughly enjoy the tension and risk it brings to the game and don't think it would be X-wing without them. But I know where your coming from, I've had to deal with the anti-dice minority for all those years. 

I'm for strictly as I stated: modify the dice mechanic in such a way that the addition of a single die doesn't leave the same gap it does now. Like, I consider it ridiculous that we even had to put a cap on dice rolled the way they did recently. That just shows how out of control it got that they had to put a control back in.

I'm thinking like in our hypothetical 3rdEd we borrow back from the mini SW games that came after like Armada, Legion, and ImpAssault (wait, that's all of them lol) and get variant dice in addition to the current ones. Like a 'heavy' and an 'accurate' one. Add in an 'armor' die too if we want. Even if this means additional icon types. That way we can limp Bizkit it up and keep on rolling baby 😜

 Come on DM, I thought you knew me better than that 😁 I could go look up some past conversations if it'll help prove I've not changed my mind on this for years. 

MOAR DICE.  I MUST COLLECT DICE.

Dice Hoarding: Accumulating Treasure – Dice Maniacs' Club

That's what happens when you start gaming with D&D.  (BTW, not my collection.  I'm not that organized.}

 

Quote

Come on DM, I thought you knew me better than that 😁 I could go look up some past conversations if it'll help prove I've not changed my mind on this for years.

I don't know you could have hit your head or something. :P

Originally, I would have suggested d8s in other color to change the percentages, but with most of the colors now standing for something (purple for Force, for example}, adding red and green d6s, d10s and d12s would be my idea.  OTOH, a purple d8 for Force Users would be cool. . .

I mean, since we are musing on 3rd Edition, maybe Attack and Defense now get noted 3d6 or 2d10, or even 3d8 if you use the Force.

OR, as a way to change the Force, what if a purple d8 with a better odds distribution was added, and you dump the base Force ability.  Then, Force Pilots have better odds, but don't get extra dice mods.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/17/2020 at 7:08 AM, Cpt ObVus said:

Isn’t second edition only about two years old? Are we really talking about third edition? I really thought this must be a joke post at first. 

As for the actual content, I think I respectfully but very thoroughly disagree with most of this. Adding new dice is a *********** of impossibility in a game of this age. The Force is a fantastic, elegant system that bends the game for Force users about as much as it probably should. And the cost is figured into the pilots. And if you’re careless with it, you get caught with your pants down and killed. I think most of the actual Force power upgrades need work; Supernatural Reflexes, Sense, & Hate are pretty good, but most of the others don’t seem worth it most of the time. Objective-based gameplay probably would improve things as well, but guys, seriously: Third Edition?

To be honest, while I'm enjoying the brainstorm session here, there is no way in **** I want to change editions again.  Probably ever.

Going from 1E to 2E was a pretty big cluster for a lot of people.  It is also becoming obvious that it was kind of a big cluster for FFG, too:  1.0 inventory clogging up the pipelines, lack of interest in 2.0 reprints, and The CrApp.

Personally, IF (very big IF) a 3rd Edition were to become a thing, I wouldn't want to see it happen until all 7 factions were replete with 12-15 ships each.  Maybe by that point the game could use a top-down look at the system as a whole again.  But next time, there is no way I would invest any serious money in an Edition change; it had better be a rules-driven, paper-only kind of revision.  Which means I might be willing to replace the cards and dice (because they have rules on them), but there is NO WAY I am ever investing in new dials, bases, and tokens again.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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@Cpt ObVusObVus I think it was about 2 or so years into first Ed we started hypothetical talk of second way back when, so yeah, fits the timeline. If it's any consolation, they'll likely do a '2.5' first, as they did back in first Ed, and even that will still be a few years off yet. Mostly they get to keep up with the living rules format which is great, so they bought A LOT of time to keep with what we got and make most changes as we go in like .1 increments. But the hypothetical is always fun to explore.

When you restart with a new edition, you can get away with a lot. The logic of not being able to add items because of its former age doesn't really hold up. Remember, for 2.0 they had seriously explored new dice in the development stage and cut it only to keep complexity down for player age. As I recall they said a 9yo was the base line they were hoping to keep with in their interview, so they kept the dice as they were and tried to work around it. If in our musings we wonder what would happen if they change that view, or work around the complexity side, we can explore a bit. Saying no to new dice is like saying you couldn't have added charges to the game or the Force in general, or even probably the best example: medium bases. 

@Kyle Ren no worries, I thought it was funny. The aim of a new dice system would be to keep those pros, while addressing the cons. Glancing hits would still be a thing, they just come about through a slightly different calculation. (Tagging here for their convenience @BenDay ) it would still be a number quantified attack against a number quantified defense where the difference is the output, I don't imagine that would get much change as a core concept here. We could each come up with a dozen ways to try before lunch of how you get there. And all of them would still have that same great interpretative theme. 

Tangent: there's some many awesome ways you can interpret it too right? Like maybe you did hit with both barrels, but only squeezed off four shots and two missed.  Or you caught my armor by just a hair. Or my favorite, you didn't actually miss but your guns are overheating and the evade luck was really just you not firing at full power. Like I said, I love the dice in this game, they're so cinematic when they do work.

Respectfully though, I think your jumping to conclusions on what changes could or couldn't do. We've not defined enough of a system to see what it would need at all in order to accomplish the task, rather thrown around a few nebulous concepts too play with. I see no reason to expect any change would require multiple roll sets. Although, if that was how you wished to accomplish the task, it would technically work. Not sure I'd be a fan unless they was for like an 'advanced' rule set. But I'd like to have an advanced rule set so really what do I care lol 😂

Back to it. Consider, take a different direction and instead of thinking along the lines of multiple icons on a face, consider just more and less faces that have icons. What about new icons or recycled ones. What happens if you add an accuracy result to the game like Armada has, and what does that do? Or how about instead of a dual hit face, what if there's just a 'big hit' icon that sits between normal hits and crits? What if we had a armor die that had armor plate icons and shield icons, what could that bring to the game?

I also like to think about the alternatives that a surge system akin to IA and Legion later used would bring, on top of the focus mechanic. That might be a way to fix Force by having it interact with one and not the other. Or maybe Force generates surges. In a real outside the box move, you could normalize all accuracy and just say everything rolls 2 or 3 dice for attack and defense, and then the stats on cards are replaced by 'add or subtract from results' instructions that fill in for accuracy and damage changes you want to accomplish. Like TIEs might add a focus result while defending, or get a reroll and that replaces what's listed on the cards old 3agi spot. While perhaps an accurate E-wing gets the same on attack.

@Darth Meanie lol right!? I do hit my head on occasion lol 😅 you could have blue shield dice and yellow armor dice too. That'd be neat.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ForceSensitive said:

you could have blue shield dice and yellow armor dice too. That'd be neat.

It'd be an interesting alt format. IE: Reds vs greens to see if the attack hits (using the current system but replacing crit results with hit results). Uncanceled reds are then compared against the blues (5 "hit", 3 blank sides) with blank blues = spend a shield to cancel a red, blue "hits" cancelling a red each without spending a shield, "hits" applied first. Any remaining reds (blues could only cancel 1 red result making brute forcing through them possible) would then be compared to the yellow roll (3 possible yellow results: deflect (3 sides) = straight cancel of the red with no loss in # of hull dice, damage (4 sides) = lost of a hull die and canceling a red, blank (1 side) = loss of a hull die, a critical effect and canceling a red). 0 remaining hull dice = dead ship. Might make stuff tanky as ****, but it'd be interesting.

Edited by Hiemfire
All die side values subject to balancing, don't rage at me for them.

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