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Thoughts on how to improve the A-wing in 2.0

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

The point is, the RZ1 would need something as force multiplier.

The closest thing is it gets crackshot at i1-i2 which is a pretty big deal along with boost as its one of the very few cards in the game that impacts defensive token stacks at low init. Also Bodhi Uwing and a few other “support” focused Rebel platforms exist but the puzzle pieces don’t completely fit yet.

Worth noting that while FOs can take Optics the Epsilons tend not to and go without upgrades or get swapped out for SFs the closer they get to 30 pts. There for sure spots optics fits on an Ep but it usually isn't something worth sticking with. Same with the i3 FOs or Longshot who tend to be better off rolling out with PT or again changing to an SF.

Not sure what rz1as should cost but there is definitely a point where they would start to become relevant since Rebels primarily only have naked z95s, crack talas, rebel ties, attack shuttles, ywings, and rz1as to work with as generic filler. From a certain perspective it kind of helps that there is not a low 30s multi arc ship to compete with besides dorsal ywings, because slight point decreases might actually get them on the table within the faction without having to go to low. Similar to what we have seen from Sycks, crackshot can be the Awings ion/tractor. I am sure our tune would change on RZ1s once the right Rebel Crackshot swarm shows up with a mix of z95s and a support ship or maybe not even needing one of those depending on how cheap things get. Such lists have performed ok across sporadic tournaments going all the way back to Coruscant even.

Related to force multipliers the absolute worst case scenario is probably a lower cost snapshot as the RZ1A buff.

Edited by Boom Owl

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2020 at 8:06 PM, brupl said:

An counter argument for one of these [finger-four-Wingman Talent] alternatives was this: "(free Evades + Juke isn't a good solution to anything)"

My reply:
Well, it works for Defenders...

Does it though?

I mean, I love me some Delta Defenders.  But Juke... Juke is just a bad idea, a bad design.  Counter-point to the counter-point, suppose Juke just doesn't exist?

Either it's busted strong, or hilariously under-powered.  Both of those are bad.  It's the reason for so many Phantom nerfs, why the N-1 doesn't have a Talented generic (even though I don't even think 5 Juke N-1s would be that good... just give it a shot in FlyCasual).  Juke is just a really unhealthy card.  It scales awkwardly across a list, people hate having their already-bad green dice made worse, and it becomes the ultimate trap card for bad jank builds where folks are trying to squeeze Juke into someone who doesn't even have a natural Evade action.  Just be gone with it.

So I think Juke is just a bad card that shouldn't exist.  And if I think that, then you'd see why I think it's a really terrible idea for a buff* to turn something into a free-evade-plus-Juke machine. 

I kinda don't care whether it'd be too strong or too weak.  It'll be one or the other.  I just think it's the wrong direction things should be headed, and it'd be better to do something different.

 

 

 

* Also, @Blail Blerg is right that the specific Wingman cards are just way too complicated.  Removing those complications and buffing stats is just easier.

Edited by theBitterFig

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2 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

The closest thing is it gets crackshot at i1-i2 which is a pretty big deal along with boost as its one of the very few cards in the game that impacts defensive token stacks at low init. Also Bodhi Uwing and a few other “support” focused Rebel platforms exist but the puzzle pieces don’t completely fit yet.

Worth noting that while FOs can take Optics the Epsilons tend not to and go without upgrades or get swapped out for SFs the closer they get to 30 pts. There for sure spots optics fits on an Ep but it usually isn't something worth sticking with. Same with the i3 FOs or Longshot who tend to be better off rolling out with PT or again changing to an SF.

Not sure what rz1as should cost but there is definitely a point where they would start to become relevant since Rebels primarily only have naked z95s, crack talas, rebel ties, attack shuttles, ywings, and rz1as to work with as generic filler. From a certain perspective it kind of helps that there is not a low 30s multi arc ship to compete with, because slight point decreases might actually get them on the table within the faction. Similar to what we have seen from Sycks. I am sure our tune would change on RZ1s once the right Rebel Crackshot swarm shows up with a mix of z95s and a support ship or maybe not even needing one of those depending on how cheap things get.

Related to force multipliers the absolute worst case scenario is probably a lower cost snapshot as the RZ1A buff.

There are options as soon as we're willing to go down 5 ships. I like the janky snapshot+juke combo, but it's prohibitively expensive at 14 points (17 if you count the extra cost for the i3). 3 Greens with that, a phoenix with intimidation in front, and 30pts for a 5th ship. Could be a crackshot Phoenix, Blount, could be anything like an i1 Z95 plus upgrading the phoenix to Arvel.

The problem is that such a list might be somewhat ok in hyperspace where there's no juke or crackshot, and 100% rubbish in extended.

My suspicion is that we'd have to add a leia carrier and abandon pure Awing lists. Personally, that then brings me to the question why I'd ever play RZ1 instead of RZ2. I want 4-6 arrowheads and have a fighting chance with it.

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Luke + 5 RZ1s is 207.

Pretty sure I'd fly that if it fit. Which just means RZ1 down two, 29 -> 27, which would also mean 7x crack rz1 would fit. Are we sure those aren't fine lists?

Also seems like "generic a-wings should be good" and "a list consisting of nothing but a-wings (possibly with one force multiplier) should be good" are two very different emerging goals and causing some talking-past

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

There are options as soon as we're willing to go down 5 ships. I like the janky snapshot+juke combo, but it's prohibitively expensive at 14 points (17 if you count the extra cost for the i3). 3 Greens with that, a phoenix with intimidation in front, and 30pts for a 5th ship. Could be a crackshot Phoenix, Blount, could be anything like an i1 Z95 plus upgrading the phoenix to Arvel.

The problem is that such a list might be somewhat ok in hyperspace where there's no juke or crackshot, and 100% rubbish in extended.

My suspicion is that we'd have to add a leia carrier and abandon pure Awing lists. Personally, that then brings me to the question why I'd ever play RZ1 instead of RZ2. I want 4-6 arrowheads and have a fighting chance with it.

My mind goes to crackshot z95 + awing swarms first. That would potentially be playable in hyperspace. Imagine something like the below list but with 2 A-Wings mixed in and a bit of room for crackshot. 

Blue Squadron Escort (T-65 X-wing)  Servomotor S-foils
Blue Squadron Pilot (A/SF-01 B-wing)  Hull Upgrade
Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95-AF4 Headhunter)
Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95-AF4 Headhunter)
Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95-AF4 Headhunter)
Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95-AF4 Headhunter)
Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95-AF4 Headhunter)

I wonder if there is a price point for Rz1as and the token stacked aces they would have to fight where something like this is "ok". 

Tala Squadron Pilot — Z-95- Crackshot 
Tala Squadron Pilot — Z-95- Crackshot 
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A- Crackshot
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A- Crackshot
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A- Crackshot
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A- Crackshot
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A- Crackshot

Edited by Boom Owl

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1 minute ago, svelok said:

Also seems like "generic a-wings should be good" and "a list consisting of nothing but a-wings (possibly with one force multiplier) should be good" are two very different emerging goals and causing some talking-past

Fair. The pure Awing list is what I'm interested in, and I'm pretty sure that's somewhat widespread. There are quite a few followers of the church of Awings. A filler phoenix with intimidation is already decent enough. -2pt won't change much there in my opinion.

3 minutes ago, svelok said:

Pretty sure I'd fly that if it fit. Which just means RZ1 down two, 29 -> 27, which would also mean 7x crack rz1 would fit. Are we sure those aren't fine lists?

A 7th ship is an example of force multiplier that I had mentioned: extra bodies.  7 Awings would be more than decent. 7 crackshots might make them pretty good. Does rise the hyperspace/extended problem though.

I'm also in on 5A + something. If that something is Luke... yeah, that's also good enough. By the way, you can currently run 4crackA + precog regen Luke, or 4A + Corran. These lists should be ok, and it's not their fault if they are not...

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

4crackA + precog regen Luke,

Luke Skywalker — T-65 
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A - Crackshot
Phoenix Squadron Pilot — RZ-1 A - Crackshot
Tala Squadron Pilot — Z-95 - Crackshot 
Lieutenant Blount — Z-95 - Crackshot
Bandit Squadron Pilot — Z-95

Currently on 200 pts. 

Given the fact they kept Boba and a few other Force Aces in hyper like Kylo I genuinely wish Crackshot remained legal. 

Card helps these poor awkward generics so much while we wait for Aces to be addressed.

Edited by Boom Owl

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6 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

My mind goes to crackshot z95 + awing swarms first. That would potentially be playable in hyperspace. Imagine something like the below list but with 2 A-Wings mixed in and a bit of room for crackshot. 

Do we know that it isn't playable? I'm not aware of any (reliable) tests. Same with such Luke builds. And even the AAAAAZZ looks pretty ok to me. Or rather, that should be ok.

Would it be in hyperspace, assuming crackshot was legal? I think so.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

Do we know that it isn't playable?

We kinda know at least the archetype is playable from various Blair Bunke lists that he has done ok with, though admittedly those tended to run z95s instead of RZ1As due to cost. Or mixed in some chonky options like Bs or Xs or Us which I think is actually really cool. Its not hard to imagine RZ1As finding a home in such lists at the right cost. Rebel Swarms in general and old school rebel leia beef before the consolidation to higher init/cassian/jedi braylen were neat. Definition of playable here is tough though as the leia-less rebel swarms are probably not much more than swiss joust cut collectors at present until they get stopped by the right ace jouster.  

Crackshot legal in hyper is something I would support if Boba/Kylo etc stay generally untouched or more Aces get added. Its really the only weapon many entire ship platforms have to even moderately keep pace.  

Edited by Boom Owl

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To think that I played 4A with snapshot and juke back in TripleDefender/Dengaroo/Paratanni times... least fun games ever!

11 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Given the fact they kept Boba and a few other Force Aces in hyper like Kylo I genuinely wish Crackshot remained legal. 

Card helps these poor awkward generics so much while we wait for Aces to be addressed.

Same team! Crackshot is really good though, so I'd rather have high ini agility based arcdodgers adressed than add crackshot to the mix.

7 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

We kinda know it is playable from various Blair Bunke lists that he has done ok with, though admittedly those tended to run z95s instead of RZ1As due to cost. 

True. There are also some few AAABB /AAAAB and similar lists that have successful outliers. Someone last May made top8 at a 73people HStrial with Wedge, 2Yions and 2 crackAs.

There might have been a window for them. But currently that seems closed, maybe it opens again in June.

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To point this more in the direction of the original post, 

I think 2 or 3 named pilots with abilities in the direction of the Wingman idea and others, would "fix" the issue overall. 

Having meta-viable RZ1s besides Jake to compete with and combine with the existing Rebel hierarchy of Braylen/Tenn/Luke/Wedge/Han/Lando/etc, would be immensely valuable to players wanting more RZ1s on the table. 

I love the ship as-is, and really don't think 5+ RZ1s with Crack Shot AND friends would be the right direction for the Rebel meta. Swarming auto damage with great dials and 3agi gets old really fast for both players. 

I sincerely don't think that's what the community needs for Rebels. 

I'd rather see 3 or 4 ProcketAs be viable, but that's more of a 1point Crack problem than an RZ1 cost problem. 

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I'm with others that the A has more potential for something going on than it looks.  (and of course they need more named pilots!)

I keep thinking about this PhilGC article:

https://suchanxwinghipster.wordpress.com/2019/09/20/a-snap-shot-in-time-27-days-to-worlds/

"After the three games I was thoroughly enamoured with the little A-Wings that could. 2-1 against a player with a solid run of form and a strong list made me think that Rebel As could have promise in the right hands."

A friend of mine has flown 5A Snap/Crack against me a few times, and it'd been a challenging thing to play against.  Crack Shot is huge, though.  Whenever I've flown against it, there's always been a moment where CS finishes off a ship which otherwise would have the Evades it needed to live through the attack.

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I’m curious... and don’t get me wrong, I like A-Wings too, and want to see them be good and strong... but why do people need the A-Wing to function as a homogenous swarm before they’ll think it’s good enough? The game’s loaded with ships that are good, balanced, and fun, but for one reason or another, are not meant to stand alone and win. I like Y-Wings a lot. Should I expect 5 Gold Squadron Vets to be a winning list? No. Does that mean the Y-Wing sucks? Not remotely. They just have certain weaknesses that typically require the help of other fighters of a different type.

The RZ-1 seems to be a pretty good little ship. At 7 points over an Academy Pilot TIE/ln, it might be 1-2 points high, and it really could use some i5/i6 pilots (really, where is Tycho?), but it’s already a pretty decent ship. The low initiative Phoenix pilots are great blockers, as is Arvel, and Jake is exactly the sort of high-utility mid-initiative guy the Rebels seem to be built on.

Why is a 5 or 6 ship “nothing but A-Wings” list necessary or desirable?

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17 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Why is a 5 or 6 ship “nothing but A-Wings” list necessary or desirable?

because it looks awesome and I love it. The game is more fun when stuff you like is also somewhat decent. For some odd reason, mass Awings have been popular for years.

There are underlying reasons of course, but that's the crux of it. I love the ship.

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8 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Why is a 5 or 6 ship “nothing but A-Wings” list 1. necessary or 2. desirable?

1. Expands player base beyond just the card/ability combo subset by providing at a minimum a mid level option. 

2. Uniform squadron theme (a dislike of lists consisting of a hodge podge of chassis being a sub set of this reason, another is a RP leaning toward logistical consistency w/n the same squadron), ease of memory (helps to streamline tactical thinking if all your ships are the same), some just think extremely highly of RZ-1s and want to fly only them.

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@GreenDragoon TIE/FOs are very good, optics is not a force multiplier and TIE/FOs don’t take it

https://pinksquadron.dk/pbm/?sid=69&q=pilots&p=epsilonsquadroncadet

8.9% frequency, lower performance than baseline.

the A-Wing is a better TIE/FO (same dial with more blues, boost, linked boost, more shields)

Therefore problems with the A-Wing are perfectly capable of being fixed with points and points alone

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5 minutes ago, Kyle Ren said:

@GreenDragoon TIE/FOs are very good, optics is not a force multiplier and TIE/FOs don’t take it

https://pinksquadron.dk/pbm/?sid=69&q=pilots&p=epsilonsquadroncadet

8.9% frequency, lower performance than baseline.

the A-Wing is a better TIE/FO (same dial with more blues, boost, linked boost, more shields)

Therefore problems with the A-Wing are perfectly capable of being fixed with points and points alone

I mean... i did mention bodies as a form of force multiplier. FOcho is quite a bit more than 6. The other places for FOs are fillers, and they get the extra oomph by pilot abilities (scorch, rivas if not used as support) and FO is at least an option.

2dice attacks need some force multipliers. Numbers are one. RZ1s have nothing so far, that's why the generics do not work in numbers at the moment.

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Uh 

I think our definitions of force multiplier are different then

I’m fairly certain 7A would be fine, but also FOCHO is worse than using FOs as filler, which is I think how this game is supposed to be played. Monospam looks cool but skews matchup dependence and isn’t as fun to play. 

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@Kyle Ren why do you try to disagree when we agree?!

6 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

A 7th ship is an example of force multiplier that I had mentioned: extra bodies.  7 Awings would be more than decent.

I explained what I mean by force multiplier:

11 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

Most of them have some sort of force multiplier available to them. Either the amount of shots is increased, or the number of dice per shot is increased, or the quality of the shots is improved: Extra bodies, time on target, better/extra mods. And most 2attack dice ships have something like that:

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Sorry, by fine I meant like, B tier? 7A would more exist as an accident of pricing As appropriately because I think the correct cost is 27. 

I would still think the correct use of a 27 point A-Wing would be as a filler, not spam 

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4 minutes ago, Kyle Ren said:

Sorry, by fine I meant like, B tier? 7A would more exist as an accident of pricing As appropriately because I think the correct cost is 27. 

I would still think the correct use of a 27 point A-Wing would be as a filler, not spam 

As mentioned elsewhere I think intimidation Arvel is pretty good, and so is Jake. The phoenix with intimidation is also an amazing blocker that improves other attacks. I don't understand why a single Phoenix is unplayable at 29 but good at 27. That is nonsensical to me because it depends so much on the rest of the list. If it were true then you could already now make a version of that hypothetical list and replace something with a -2pt alternative and it should still be pretty ok. Ok enough to run successfully at small events.

And to go back to the topic:

4 hours ago, Bucknife said:

To point this more in the direction of the original post, 

I think 2 or 3 named pilots with abilities in the direction of the Wingman idea and others, would "fix" the issue overall. 

The reason I didn't pick up on the wingman idea is because in my opinion that does try to recreate a very specific list instead of improving a ship. There is no reason to believe that A-wings with wingman would be any good. Also, later versions of the original finger four(five), as soon as snapshot was released, did even better without wingman. Still bad, but better. So I tried to pick up the underlying issue instead of a very specific, superficial fix.

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Rather 3 agility dice ships. Whisper*, Poe, Redline, ... are a bit more afraid. A proper arcdodger won't take many shots, and the few remaining ones lack strength. But 3agility dice ships will stay, no matter how much or if at all FFG will correct them. Few weak 2attack dice ships will never be a thing, whether they're shooting 8 droids, 8 FOs or Vader Soontir GI.

*yeah I know, but in principle she would be.

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While I don't think there is a core problem with a generics A-wing list, that doesn't super interest me. A big problem with the rebel identity already is this faction that has a ton of flavorful characters and which in the setting historically mixes a bunch of ships is encouraged to run a down the line generic swarmy list.

Reducing points isn't impossible, but the issue with just pricing the generics down is that it wouldn't help the ship's core problems with its identity, it would just make it more worth it to run them naked as filler. I get the A-wing's mechanical identity has become filler, but its place in many people's minds isn't that. I love the A-wing from the X-wing games and the Rogue Squadron games where it was this slick ultra fast ship for you to style on people and blast off missiles with, and while it probably won't ever be a cheap ship and will be best flown as a pair or trio unless your using Jake as one of the best support pieces rebels have (purely due to him being the cheapest way to generate an entirely extra action in rebels, and maybe the game, for another ship in a list), I don't want the only realistic way to run A's is to just mush em in there.

I don't necessarily want it to be an Ace platform, in fact it may be more interesting if the A-wing is forever an 'agrigate ace' where where you might run 1 TIE/In you are running 2-3 A's gaining board position but making it way harder to deny shots on your entire list causing them to sorta be a 'swarm ace' archetype, but I want it to be out there doing clever tricks rather than just existing at a good points value for their stats, and at the end of the day its just really hard to justify putting a big fat upgrade on a sub 30 points ship with 4 health and no real way to ensure it can both defensively mod and actually output damage.

The comparison to the Y-wing is interesting, because the Y-wing does see play and sees it with a variety of different potential upgrades and pilots. You could go double tap ions, or a torp list, and all 4 3 named pilots fly very differently and can fit onto a list. Even though its stats are rather equivalent (Losing 2 health for 2 agility, having a worse dial overall but being able to go at 1 and use a torp), the fact the game systems so disincentivize flimsy ships that need upgrades to generate value, as opposed to survivable ships that need upgrades to generate value because generic Y's are very very bad but they like an ace can expect to live long enough to actually earn the points spent back for scoring, indicates that there is a more fundamental problem than A's just being over-costed in terms of how lists are built. You could certainly push down A-wing prices so that they see play and are just an upgrade to the TIE/Fo, but that just results in another ship (admittedly a less iconic one) being unloved and doesn't solve the fundamental 'A-dissatisfaction' I know a lot of people have where the fantasy of the A-wing being your way to essentially make a custom cool squad doing some slick stuff doesn't exist.

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