Jump to content
Hiemfire

Flying Solo (FFG X-Wing Solo Play article up)

Recommended Posts

On 5/29/2020 at 12:42 PM, That Blasted Samophlange said:

Honestly, I think that Heroes of the Aturi Cluster is so much more elegant in the approach, but, FFG can't use that and considering that the system here is using only what you can get in the official expansions, I think that is a good start.   Maybe I'll break out my x-wing stuff again. (Honestly I do prefer Battlestar Galactica for fighter pew pew action, and I’ve been working in my own AI for that) 

HOTAC is the only way i PLAY x-wing..

On 5/29/2020 at 2:38 PM, TBot said:

This is most definently going to lead to Aturi cluster type campaign. Cant wait!

Let's hope so..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi.

(i'm french, I apologized in advance for my english)

I've first a question : when the enemy's ships do a red maneuver ? It's seems that it depends of the direction that it is written after we get the result of the dices, but I'm not sure of that. For example if you have a player ship in the rear and you've the solo ship to move toward it, does it means that you have to do a tallon roll ?

Else I'd liked to have an app, I enjoy the one for Empire Assault, and it really breaks the rythm of the game to have to look for every enemy ships approach and action, when a app could just gives us the result(s).

Edited by ZaZ333

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The enemy Squad-building table seemed a bit off - thought I might change / add some stuff:

Faction

Patrol Ship

Reinforcements

Player Ship

Galactic Republic

Naboo N-1 / V-19 Torrent

ARC-170 Starfighter / Athersprite / BTL-B Y-Wing

ARC-170 Starfighter / Athersprite

Separatist Alliance

Vulture Droid

Hyena Droid / HMP Gunship

Belbullab-22 fighter / Nantex Starfighter

Galactic Empire

TIE/ag Aggressor / TIE/ln Fighter

TIE/in Interceptor / TIE/sa Bomber /
TIE/sk Striker / TIE/v1 Adv.Prototype

Assault Gunboat / TIE/d Defender /
TIE/ph Phantom / TIE/x1 Advanced

Rebel Alliance

HWK-290 | Z-95 Headhunter

RZ-1 A-Wing | BTL-A4 Y-Wing

B-Wing | E-Wing | T-65 X-Wing

Scum & Villainy

M3-A Interceptor / Mining Guild TIE/ln / 
Z-95 Headhunter

G-1A Starfighter / Khiraxz Fighter / BTL-A4 Y-Wing

Fang Fighter / M12-L Kimogila / StarViper Platform

Resistance

Fireball / Transport Pod

RZ-2 A-Wing / Resistance Transport

T-70 X-Wing

First Order

TIE/fo Fighter

TIE/sf Fighter

TIE/ba Interceptor / TIE/vn Silencer

Add upgrades as you see fit, I guess

Edited by ImperialAce95

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, ImperialAce95 said:

The enemy Squad-building table seemed a bit off - thought I might change / add some stuff:

Add upgrades as you see fit, I guess

As much as I love that ship, unless you are playing with more than one ship, I don't really see the Starwing able to aim its front towards a bunch of chashing ships past the first clash. But I could wrong...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see an app of that. Mansion of Madness/Journeys in Middle-Earth ish. It would help a lot in getting ship AI to be less generic, to add scenarios and to reduce a big part of the fiddliness of those AI systems...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Azrapse said:

As much as I love that ship, unless you are playing with more than one ship, I don't really see the Starwing able to aim its front towards a bunch of chashing ships past the first clash. But I could wrong...

I think the Patrol and Reinforcements ships are controlled by the AI, not the Player ship. The Player ship is what [you] the Solo player flies, though you could fly pretty much anything on the list if you want a challenge. The only differences I made to the table was add more ships (Rebel HWK, Naboo N-1, TIE Adv.Prototype, TIE Striker, TIE Defender, Kimogila, etc.), and switch some around for the Solo player to fly (Kihraxz <-> Fang is the big one).

For the Gunboat, I don't think it would be much different than a Y-Wing with only munitions. Yeah, it doesn't have a K turn, but you could hard turn SLAM whatever is closer to the Tally whenever the AI says to turn around.

(P.S. Am I alone in thinking the Gunboat's red 4 straight should have been a red 4K? Would that break anything?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just gave this a go with what I assumed was the most logical starting point for balance: Rebel player vs Imperial AI. 

 

It's a good start. I think the system has promise. I like how they've been able to implement a system that's universal for all ships which works using X-Wing components - the attack + defence dice as a randomiser is a good idea. 

It took a few turns to get used to the activation order. At first, I was rolling for all AI ships at the start and assigning them dials based on starting conditions. Eventually, I realised the determination needed to happen at activation and there's basically no point in using dials for the AI. Still took another turn or so for me to remember that the Black Squadron Aces should be doing this after the Blue Squadron Escort had moved. 

 

I think the charts themselves need some refinement, though. The AI felt particularly braindead a lot of the time. One of them killed itself flying over obstacles, one of them basically dithered in the corner and when the Interceptor showed up, it went full speed away from my ship and got itself out of the fight.

I know they're aiming for simple, but I do think they might end up needing to specify decisions for each ship. The fastest/slowest thing might work for a lot of ships, but 'average' doesn't show up all that often, and with no blue turns the TIE Fighter basically never uses its 2 hard turns. It needs to be accounted for that the TIE Fighter has all 3 turns and all of them white. Also, the 'advanced maneuver' selection can be a bit weird. A couple of times, the TIEs had their tally in the side arc and rolled the instruction to use the slowest advanced maneuver towards the target... but TIE Fighter's don't have s-loops, so they can't go away from a toward anything to the side with a an advanced maneuver. They ended up k-turning into really bad positions (one landing on a rock in the process). More interestingly, I found it significantly easier to run through the decision charts with this very handy reference card (credit to /u/SharpEdgeSoda on the subreddit)

gxSlE5B.png

To the point where, given the currently available scenario only ever has a max of two AI ship types - which isn't much to keep track of, I think I'd prefer to just get out a card per ship type and use that.

It's what HotAC does, and I think it's actually simpler in the end, and allows you to get a bit more specific. There's a big problem with the 'green eye' movements on the side arc using slowest blue bank or turn if you don't have a blue turn. If the tally is beyond range 3, you still need to use it, but the banks just don't change the orientation enough. I think this was the biggest problem with my TIEs dithering in one corner, they weren't aggressively repointing themselves enough to actually get back in the fight. 

Also, though the advice on linked actions is relatively comprehensive, it does start to fall down when the TIE Interceptor gets involved. There were some situations where it really wasn't obvious if the Interceptor should just roll or boost, or evade and roll, or evade and boost, or focus...

 

Beyond that, I think the AI needs to find a way to reference obstacles and stress in addition to the Tally. 

I can't think of a simple solution yet that doesn't add a ton of bloat, but these decisions need to have a caveat like "unless there is an obstacle in your bullseye or front arc at range 1, in which case..." just to stop some of the more bonehead, obvious errors I saw the TIEs pulling in my game. Some of the 'towards obstacle' decision results might need looking at too. They're all highest speed with enemy in front or rear, which leads me to believe they're supposed to take you around the nearest obstacle for cover. But a couple of times, it took them straight over it. Which, y'know, happens if you deliberately turn towards an obstacle. 

If obstacles are within range 3 and the player ships aren't, I think the obstacles should become the point of reference - they're the more important things to maneuver around. 

It also needs to find a way to prioritise blue maneuvers if stressed. I like that this system 'plays fair' and lets the AI take stress, and while there's enough blue on the TIE Fighter's dial that it wasn't a huge issue, one of them hung on to a stress for a few turns, and eventually went over a debris that gave it a second. 

 

I'm wondering how complicated it would be if there was a set of 'override' or 'default dice' rules based on certain conditions. For example, most of the green eye results reference blue maneuvers. I feel like it would make sense that, if an AI ship is stressed, you don't roll a green die. Instead, you set the green die to the eye result and roll only the red. I don't know, I might test that myself and see how it works. 

 

I'm hoping the feedback they asked for helps them come up with some ideas. As it is, I had fun with this, but never particularly felt like my two X-Wings were in danger, even if on the other hand I was barely getting shots.

I think being more specific with the reference charts, HotAC style and better dealing with obstacles/stress would go a long way in helping this. But I'm going to play a few more times and mix the ships up a bit before I submit the feedback to FFG.

 

Oh, one other thing I'd love to see down the line - special, more complex 'hero' AI for certain ships/pilots. I'd love a scenario that involves taking on Boba Fett or Han Solo, for example. And AI that's designed around their abilities and ships wold be awesome. 

 

EDIT: On the stress thing, just caught a bit of the rules I missed before. It does indeed say to default to the eye result on the green die if stressed, but currently only if the roll is set to perform a red maneuver. IMO, this should just be the rule when stressed generally. I'll play with that next time and see if it makes them too predictable. 

Edited by GuacCousteau

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the AI really needs to pick a target during the planning phase. IMHO it is the best way to drive the AI behavior and prevent exploiting the AI. This is how it's done in the Tactical Droid AI system. A recap of the system (X-Wing 1ed):

1. Planning Phase:

Human player proceeds as normal. The A.I. player chooses a target to track using the Maneuver Logic Card, then determines which Maneuver Table to use.

pic4233261.jpg

Once the AI has a target, it references the position and heading of the target using Maneuver Cards (4 two-sided cards are used, front side shown, icon on their top right shows what's on their back side) and selects a Maneuver Code:pic4233260.jpg

For example, under the Maneuver logic, the AI ship does not have a retreating enemy inside art at range 1,2 or 3 (step 1) but has an approaching ship inside arc at range 4, 3. Under the Maneuver card, this corresponds to the value of C(12) (top diagram on left-most card). You write down this maneuver code for each AI ship. You can write it down on a table, or you can have AI dials, where you would dial a the Maneuver Code (e.g. C(12)). Each AI has sets its dial, the human players set theirs, just like in a regular game.

2. Activation Phase

All ships activate as normal by order of Initiative. When its an A.I. ship, a d10 is rolled to determine which maneuver the A.I. ship will execute using a Maneuver Table Card. Reference the dialed code (e.g. C(12)). Only here the maneuver is made known, therefore you can't cheat the A.I. Let's say the AI is an A-Wing with a C(12) code, the d10 rolled a  table rolled the d10 at 7, then the maneuver is a 5-speed K-Turn. Below front and back sides shown. You need one card per ship type.

external image

The A.I. ship moves. To choose an action, the Action Logic Card is used:

external image

3. Combat Phase:

All ships attack in sequence as normal. When its time for an A.I. ship to attack, use the Attack Logic Card.

external image

That's the gist of it. Once you are familiar with the system it plays quite fast, usually quicker than a human player.

If you want to take the AI a step further, there are other logic cards for:

  • Maneuver Corrections: avoid obstacles and other ships
  • Secondary Weapons: when the AI chooses a secondary weapon
  • Support Ships: when the AI chooses to buff/debuff
  • Quick-build cards: AI cards with pilot abilities / upgrades and instructions on when to use them.

The system was made for X-Wing 1ed. I haven't had an opportunity to migrate the system into 2ed -not enough free time! After testing HotAC for months, I realized the AI was too simple to pose a good challenge. I decided to design this enhanced AI for better ship tracking and overall better performance.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/161995/tactical-droid-i-x-wing

I would really love if FFG could design a solo AI that is complex enough to cater dedicated solo players. A simplistic AI won't have long term appeal imho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, OoALEJOoO said:

<snipped another wall of text worth of self promotion by the quoted poster>

Enough please. We get it, you have made something similar and are completely enamored with what you made to the point that if what FFG doesn't makes something that is close to what you made you'll hate FFG's AI. Keep the discussion in this thread to the official Open Alpha Solo Play rules and stop promoting your homebrewed system in this thread (**** you've linked to it enough over the last 3 pages if they want to take a look at yours they have plenty of opportunity).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Enough please. We get it, you have made something similar and are completely enamored with what you made to the point that if what FFG doesn't makes something that is close to what you made you'll hate FFG's AI. Keep the discussion in this thread to the official Open Alpha Solo Play rules and stop promoting your homebrewed system in this thread (**** you've linked to it enough over the last 3 pages if they want to take a look at yours they have plenty of opportunity).

Dude, I'm not making any money with my system. I only wish FFG is given all the feedback they can get. I am giving away my work and ideas for FFG to consider, if they think relevant and appropriate into their system. @Hiemfiretoxic as always. Over and out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having tried pretty much every AI system out there, I can say that the Tactical Droid is so far the gold standard in X-Wing AI. Indeed it is not perfect (too many cards to print) but the AI is by far the best out there. I hope FFG can pick this up and build upon it.

1 hour ago, Hiemfire said:

Enough please. We get it, you have made something similar and are completely enamored with what you made to the point that if what FFG doesn't makes something that is close to what you made you'll hate FFG's AI. Keep the discussion in this thread to the official Open Alpha Solo Play rules and stop promoting your homebrewed system in this thread (**** you've linked to it enough over the last 3 pages if they want to take a look at yours they have plenty of opportunity).

The guy behind this AI has put countless hours of work in exchange for nothing. He made his system available to all of us for free. What have you contributed to the community besides your usual rants in the forum? The AI topic warrants long conversation.  If FFG released an Alpha is because they want our feedback. The amount of feedback we give will help us get a better product. If you think the posts are "walls of text" and can't focus long enough to read them, perhaps you can simply skip them and be polite (I recommend you check with a doctor, you might have ADHD).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, player3137305 said:

The guy behind this AI has put countless hours of work in exchange for nothing. He made his system available to all of us for free.

They have, and I wasn't denying that. I was pointing out that the bulk of what they've posted in this thread is effectively "They need to do it like I did." adverts with a link to their software based AI. FFG's current test build is not software based meaning it has potential availability beyond just those that can access a computer, tablet or cell phone.

@OoALEJOoO, as @kris40k mentioned to you on page 2 of this thread, direct feedback from you would undoubtedly be valuable to FFG due to your experience developing your system. Here is the link to their feedback form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1q1V6HnNI6qQRtU_Clro77PXtrholl9FmUnO58LUyEVw/viewform?edit_requested=true

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I appreciate about FFG's solo rules is that they are rather simple. There are only a few tables, and the rules lay them out in the chronological order you need to use them.

I've looked at other solo play rules before, and each time, I've bounced off the giant walls of texts, and endless cross-referenced tables that inevitably require a whole lot more book-keeping. That's not to say they're bad, because, well, they aren't. In my younger days when I had more time for such things, I would have been all over them. But these days, I'm getting older, and have less patience for such things.

That's not to say the FFG system is perfect. It isn't, and even after going through the Open Alpha, it won't be. But I appreciate that it's simple, and useable solely with materials from the regular game. It's definitely better than trying to pretend I don't know what I set the dials on both sides to. Can I guess what the Solo ships are likely to do? Sure, but I can do that against computer-players as well. That doesn't mean it doesn't still help refine my own ability to make sure I know where I'm sending my own ships.

Mostly, I think this is a tool oriented at people who aren't high-level competitive players. You know, the majority of their customer base. I realize that might be annoying to those who are high-level competitive players, but as has been pointed out a few times, there are already options out there for those who do want more complexity and performance for their solo play. There's really no reason these things can't exist in parallel. Think of them as different difficulty levels. Me, I'm old enough and just plain don't care what others think about my gaming abilities these days, that I'm perfectly happy to play in easy mode.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@HiemfireThe Tactical Droid AI is not software based, it is a printable card-based AI. The provided link points to its BoardGameGeek download page if anybody wants to try it.

Edited by OoALEJOoO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, OoALEJOoO said:

@HiemfireThe Tactical Droid AI is not software based, it is a printable card-based AI. The provided link points to its BoardGameGeek download page if anybody wants to try it.

Interesting. Looking at the files on your link and keeping your previous statement about keeping the maneuver hidden from the player after the AI selected it in mind I must have jumped to the wrong conclusion. How exactly does it do that without a second participant since it isn't software based?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Interesting. Looking at the files on your link and keeping your previous statement about keeping the maneuver hidden from the player after the AI selected it in mind I must have jumped to the wrong conclusion. How exactly does it do that without a second participant since it isn't software based?

It was explained in the wall of text ;). In a nut shell, during the planning phase each AI ship gets assigned a family of possible maneuvers, called a Maneuver Code, which effectively is a row on the ship's Maneuver table. When it's the AI's turn to activate, it's only here that a d10 is rolled to determine the actual maneuver, thus remaining hidden until activation. The PDF manual has a full walk-through if anyone wants to see how it plays without physically trying it.

*Edit: The PDF walkthrough runs through the AI version 1.0. The latest is 1.1 which is not that different.

Edited by OoALEJOoO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, OoALEJOoO said:

It was explained in the wall of text ;). In a nut shell, during the planning phase each AI ship gets assigned a family of possible maneuvers, called a Maneuver Code, which effectively is a row on the ship's Maneuver table. When it's the AI's turn to activate, it's only here that a d10 is rolled to determine the actual maneuver, thus remaining hidden until activation. The PDF manual has a full walk-through if anyone wants to see how it plays without physically trying it.

*Edit: The PDF walkthrough runs through the AI version 1.0. The latest is 1.1 which is not that different.

So basically it splits what FFG is doing in this alpha into two steps with ship specific reference charts.

Edited by Hiemfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, played another game, this time with a couple of custom rules to test a few more things. 

Firstly, because I don't like single player stuff without an objective beyond 'kill stuff' I added a version of a scenario I've previously played two player. It's the same basic set up as previously: Rebel player vs Imperial AI with the same ship counts. This time, however, I didn't use the deployment rules for the first two TIEs. Instead, I added a Lambda shuttle to the mix. It starts in one of the AI side's corners, pointing diagonally across the board to the opposite corner. The first two TIEs were positioned slightly ahead and to the sides in flanking positions. The shuttle used the I1 OGP, so it could be activated in any order with the Academy TIEs, but it could only ever perform the 1 straight and only ever focus. It will shoot anything that ends up in its arcs according to the same rules as the TIEs

This shuttle is carrying a 'VIP' the Rebels must capture. To do this, the shuttle must sustain three ion tokens and become ionised. Once it is, it becomes 'disabled' and also receives a disarm token. It does not perform the ion maneuver next turn - it is stuck in place. The disarm token is not removed. As soon as the shuttle is disabled, a U-Wing is deployed in the Rebel's corner (the one to which the shuttle is heading). The U-Wing must maneuver until it is at range 0 of the shuttle. Next turn, it must perform the stop maneuver. This is the boarding action, and once it has completed this, the VIP is captured and the U-Wing must then leave the battlefield intact. 

To disable the shuttle, the player has an RSV X-Wing equipped with Ion Torpedoes and a GSB Y-Wing equipped with Ion Cannon Turret and Veteran Turret Gunner. However, the Y-Wing must set the turret forward during setup and cannot perform the rotate action. 

If the shuttle is destroyed before the Rebels disable it, they fail the mission. If the U-Wing is destroyed at any point, they fail the mission. 

The second Patrol wave deploys as described in the FFG scenario, but the Reinforcement wave only deploys on the same turn the U-Wing deploys (a bit of balance, given the shuttle can shoot and has some pretty potent guns).

 

The other rule I included was the suggestion I made previously, that any stressed AI ship will always change its green activation die to the eye result, so that it will prioritise blue maneuvers. 

 

Lastly, I used the text about ship abilities as a bit of jumping off point. I ruled that the AI Interceptor would use its repositioning wherever there was an advantage to be gained, even if on 'Balanced' attitude (which even for the Interceptor normally suggests only repositioning if there is an obstacle in front of it, and if not will only ever focus). On balanced attitude, I would focus as suggested and then link into whichever barrel roll or boost would end either out of a players arc or would come closest to getting the player in arc if arc dodging was not possible with only one repositon. Defensive would barrel roll and boost out of arc as best as possible, and evade and reposition where it was clear only one was needed. Offensive would double reposition to get a ship in arc, focus and boost/roll to get one in arc if possible, focus and boost to come closest to getting arc if not possible even with double repositioning and just focus if nothing else was required. If no enemy was in range, regardless of stance the Interceptor would prioritise avoiding obstacles if one was in front of it (it's a bit weird that only balanced attitude has rules for this currently - defensive and offensive should also do this if there is an obstacle in front of it but no enemy in range, IMO). There's a bit of common sense involved in all this that's kinda hard to quantify in rules, but any experienced player would feel comfortable  making the adjustments. 

There was one instance where I made a defensive attitude TIE focus instead of evade, because it was out of everyone's arc but had an enemy who had already moved in arc - y'know the most obvious thing any player would do. 

 

 

In general, I actually had a lot of fun with this setup. The Rebels succeeded in the mission (the U-Wing deployment and capture rules might need some tweaking, it completed the objective in three turns basically unopposed, and managed to finish off a TIE on its approach), but the X-Wing blew up the turn before the U-Wing arrived (from a very lucky range 3 potshot). I played out the scenario like it was part of a campaign, and carried on after the U-Wing had fled, with the Y-Wing also needing to make it off the board to get experience to carry forward into the next mission. By this point, it had taken a fair chunk of damage and a one health Saber Squadron Interceptor was the only other active ship on the board. I elected to flee instead of risk a joust with those dice, but the Interceptor hunted me mercilessly and finished the Y-Wing off. 

 

I was surprised how well the AI performed with the objectives in place. There were still some weird maneuver choices at times, and a general lack of cohesion (the activation order rules make it really hard for those Academies to get consistent shots, though sometimes the more unexpected maneuvers do work out). But with my efforts focused on the shuttle, the TIEs actually felt like they forced difficult decisions at times. There was bumping, blocking, more range 1 shots than I would have expected and even a Black Squadron evaporating after blanking out to a range 1 Y-Wing primary. 

 

My tweak to the dice rules that changed the green die to an eye result of the AI ship was stressed worked really well. I'll definitely be recommending it as part of my feedback, and I thoroughly recommend anyone trying the solo play rules to adopt it as a rule. It helped make the TIE's maneuver choices feel more sensible, and often they weren't far off the optimum choices for them to make anyway. 

 

This might sound strange, but I actually think I enjoyed this more than I do playing the more complex AI of Fly Casual. Fly Casual is usually ruthlessly efficient, IMO, able to pull all sorts of strange maneuvers that a normal player would never risk or be able to judge to maximise arc coverage and action efficiency. The AI of FFG's Solo Play is laughably dumb at times, and definitely needs some tweaking. But it does feel a bit more like you're playing a person making occasional bad assumptions or gambles instead of a machine that basically has perfect judgement of board space and maneuver templates and a rigorous algorithm for predicting where enemy ships could be. 

 

Being a little bit flexible with the Interceptor pays off as well. The maneuver choice charts make so much more sense for it when you've got the option of banks or hards in some cases. The maneuver charts definitely feel like they're designed to react to a player that's already moved, and some of the strange turn options towards obstacles when there's a tally in the side arc make more sense. But the big difference that makes it feel like an actual threat is leaning into the ship ability as heavily as a player would. While I tried to stick to the general idea of the attitude roll, I found it made the Interceptor more dangerous to fly it like a player and occasionally ignore the preference for a focus token on, eg., the balanced attitude. The Interceptor also played really nicely with my tweak to the rule about how to handle stress. It was stressed most turns from using the ship ability a lot, and even with the random nature of the attack die roll, forcing the defence die to the eye result often meant it was pulling pretty optimum maneuevers based on the tally's position. 

 

I'm going to keep messing with it. I'll drop the objectives experiment for now as it shifts the focus away from duelling the AI just a bit too much.

 

I think next time I'll try Republic vs Scum. I'd like to get the Delta-7s on the table after barely getting chance to play them, but I don't have any Seps to play against. So two Jedi on a pre-Clone Wars anti pirate mission will have to be the setup. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, GuacCousteau said:

My tweak to the dice rules that changed the green die to an eye result of the AI ship was stressed worked really well. I'll definitely be recommending it as part of my feedback, and I thoroughly recommend anyone trying the solo play rules to adopt it as a rule. It helped make the TIE's maneuver choices feel more sensible, and often they weren't far off the optimum choices for them to make anyway. 

So, to see if I understood your change, you took the special rule in page 13 and extended it by removing all references to red maneuvers, right?

stressrule.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, OoALEJOoO said:

Dude, I'm not making any money with my system. I only wish FFG is given all the feedback they can get. I am giving away my work and ideas for FFG to consider, if they think relevant and appropriate into their system. @Hiemfiretoxic as always. Over and out.

First issue I have with your system is it doesn't seem to go with the design intent for FFG.  
 

FFG is trying to make their system work with x-wing products.   As it is, I could buy a core set print off the AI and play, requiring nothing else.   No additional dice Needed, using what is in the box.   That is a good idea for FFG.   
 

Second issue; Looking at your AI... it looks complicated.    Say I’m running a dozen AI ships.  Going between all those charts is going to slow the game down.  
 

It seems you are proud of your creation, and that is good, but it is not what FFG is likely to do.   They want people to keep buying x-wing products - they are a company, and they aren't likely to start making d10’s and d12’s or whatever your system needs.  They are designing their system with existing materiel, namely their dice.   Providing a complete overhaul and new AI system (that looks very complicated at first glance) is not providing feedback.   
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Azrapse said:

So, to see if I understood your change, you took the special rule in page 13 and extended it by removing all references to red maneuvers, right?

stressrule.JPG

Yep, that's exactly it. Sorry, I'd referred to it in more detail in my previous post, but given the walls of text involved I probably should have just written it out again. 

It's not a perfect change, for certain ships it misses out on some of their blue maneuvers (the 4 straight on the Interceptor, for example) which are only found with other dice combinations, but in general I found it made the AI ships act a little more optimally. I only have one game each for comparison, so please bear that in mind too. The stressed TIE Fighters did act more efficiently on the whole after I implemented that rule though, for sure. No more instances of a stressed TIE pulling a 3 hard chasing a ship it coudn't catch two turns in a row before a 1 hard into a debris for a nice double stress. 

It does mean sometimes they'll k-turn when something was beyond range 3 in the rear arc, so they're miles away from any target only to slow roll in with a 2 bank and stay well out of the fight. but honestly that felt better than them pulling a white maneuver and going actionless. It's definitely better than them pulling a white hard 3 towards an obstacle too. 

 

I think if this were implemented along with specific ship cards for maneuver selection so that eg. the TIE Interceptor didn't have a needlessly limited selection, then it would work really well. If something's in the side arc of a TIE Int, then all green eye combinations are a two hard or two bank, at least one of those (probably eye + crit) should be the blue 4 straight as an attempt to remove stress while shooting past their arc. 

While I think FFG might go for the dice change on stress rule, I think specific ship cards is probably going to be a harder sell. 

 

I'll report back once I've tested it with ships that aren't TIE Fighters or Interceptors, but if anyone else wants to give it a go I'd love to hear how this rule plays out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, That Blasted Samophlange said:

FFG is trying to make their system work with x-wing products.   As it is, I could buy a core set print off the AI and play, requiring nothing else.   No additional dice Needed, using what is in the box.   That is a good idea for FFG.   
 

Second issue; Looking at your AI... it looks complicated.    Say I’m running a dozen AI ships.  Going between all those charts is going to slow the game down.  
 

You are getting obfuscated in the details. 
He's using his system as example of an already developed and working advanced AI, not suggesting them to copy it 1:1 and show it in the next X-wing article in their site.

The components issue is irrelevant. Instead of using d12's or d10's, just adapt the rolls to match a green and die roll. The results won't be identical, but just close enough.

The biggest obstacle against his approach is that it requires personalized maneuver tables per ship type, essentially like HOTAC.
While it doubtlessly leads to smarter AI, I don't think FFG wants to (or even can) commit to keep reference cards for each ship type present and future. 
I am betting this solo system will have like a couple of months of attention by FFG, then it will be abandoned as they did with the Mission Control editor, the app, cinematic play, etc.
So it's best that the AI system is future proof and doesn't need any upkeep from FFG for its survival.

The complexity of its tables could probably be reduced in some clever way. I am thinking on those code wheels from the copy protection systems in PC video games in the 90s. Three or four concentric wheels with punched holes in it. Select the target relative position in the outer wheel, the target current vector in the next wheel. With that alone, you get rid of having to cross-reference maneuver codes between tables.
Then some punched holes labeled with [green result][red result] display selection of maneuvers by target range. Just roll a green and a red die and select the matching hole.
For the actions, add more holes, or just some 1. 2. 3. list like the ones in current FFG proposed system.

To deal with the fact that not all ships have all maneuvers, instead of having a single wheel set for every ship in the game (current FFG proposal), or a wheel set for each ship type (HOTAC, or Tactical Droid), have one wheel set per ship archetype. Define like 4 or 5 ship archetypes and have 4 or 5 wheels. When resolving the AI maneuver and actions for each AI ship, just pick up the wheel that matches that ship's archtype.

Example of archetypes: 

  • Dogfight: X-wing, B-wing, TIE Ln, M3-A, Trade Fed Drone, Mist Hunter, TIE Defender, TIE x1, Kihraxz, TIE sf, Belubab, TIE Phantom...
  • Interception: A-wing, TIE Interceptor, TIE v1, Fang, TIE vn, Aethersprite...
  • Strike: Y-wing, K-wing, Starwing, TIE Bomber, TIE Punisher, ...
  • Transport: Lambda, YV-666, U-wing, Upsilon, ...
  • Turreted: YT-1300, YT-2400, HWK, Decimator, ...

And have general guidelines for the maneuvers, just like FFG has now, instead of exact maneuvers.
In fact, you could consider these archetypes more like roles, and assign different roles to the same ship type depending on their loadout, since a Y-wing loaded with torpedoes doesn't behave exactly the same as a Y-wing focused on turret play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

Firstly, because I don't like single player stuff without an objective beyond 'kill stuff' I added a version of a scenario I've previously played two player. It's the same basic set up as previously: Rebel player vs Imperial AI with the same ship counts. This time, however, I didn't use the deployment rules for the first two TIEs. Instead, I added a Lambda shuttle to the mix...

This sounds really cool! I was considering replacing the 3rd wave with a Gozanti-class or GR-75, but I had not considered the "boarding action" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...