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On 7/24/2020 at 5:37 AM, Jarval said:

Out of interest, how do you do your list building?  I'm not a fan of the official FFG app in its current form, but I do all of my list building for X-Wing via Yet Another Squad Builder.  (And use BattleScribe or another app for list building for other games.)

As someone who spends their 9-5 working at a computer and also plays a decent number of computer games in my spare time, I enjoy tabletop wargaming as a break from using a screen, but a list building app is such a huge quality of life improvement for me to be able to quickly and accurately build a list and not have the list building eat into the game playing time. 🙂

In first edition I used the cards 2/3 of the time and YASB the other third.  My wife exclusively used the cards. Played a lot of a homebrew format where we'd mix up the cards, then  draw random ones until the points added up.

Tried doing the pdfs in second edition, but it makes the game a chore to play. So now when I do play its YASB. thing is that frequently means i dont play or cant play. I travel for a living, and this game was a thing I bought to play with my coworkers without internet access.  The other times I play are family game night(no phones allowed) and my FLGS which is a dungeon with poor reception.  So I can use YASB and print lists ahead of time, but a lot of the spontaneous squad building magic of the game is gone.

Ive also noticed that Casual players simply wont spend hours clicking around on the internet to make a list, so the App requirement has become a gate to recruiting new players as well.   its not quite codexes bad, but its pretty bad

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Hmmm.  Quite the self-imposed conundrum you've saddled yourself with there Toothsky.

If only there was a way to put together a list QUICK without having to worry about points values at all.  Maybe, I don't know,  BUILD a list by choosing a number of ships up to a certain pre-set power level and Bob's your proverbial uncle, you've got yourself a game. in no time at all.

Amazing that no-one's thought of this kind of thing before.  Especially for casuals who just want to throw something together on the spot...

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7 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

Hmmm.  Quite the self-imposed conundrum you've saddled yourself with there Toothsky.

If only there was a way to put together a list QUICK without having to worry about points values at all.  Maybe, I don't know,  BUILD a list by choosing a number of ships up to a certain pre-set power level and Bob's your proverbial uncle, you've got yourself a game. in no time at all.

Amazing that no-one's thought of this kind of thing before.  Especially for casuals who just want to throw something together on the spot...

I've yet to use the quick build cards but always liked the idea of a blind draft.

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I wish quickbuilds had been done well and not done poorly.

Would like to be able to recommend them to new players, instead of having to actively warn new people away from them because of how many upgrades and abilities, many knowingly at time of print standardly illegal, they're saddled with.

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39 minutes ago, svelok said:

I would like to be able to recommend them to new players, instead of having to actively warn new people away from them because of how many upgrades and abilities, many knowingly at time of print standardly illegal, they're saddled with.

Why would you warn players away from them?  So some ships / pilots have abilities or upgrades in quick build format that they otherwise can't.  Why is that a problem?

They're not supposed to be representative of the (regularly changing) hyperspace or standard formats; that's like comparing apples to oranges.

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1 minute ago, FTS Gecko said:

Why would you warn players away from them?  So some ships / pilots have abilities or upgrades in quick build format that they otherwise can't.  Why is that a problem?

They're not supposed to be representative of the (regularly changing) hyperspace or standard formats; that's like comparing apples to oranges.

Thats a minor nitpick. Its that everything is loaded down with 30 upgrades - far overwhelming what a new player can keep track of, to whom even something like a single proton torpedo is a lot to wrap their head around. 

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48 minutes ago, svelok said:

I wish quickbuilds had been done well and not done poorly.

Would like to be able to recommend them to new players, instead of having to actively warn new people away from them because of how many upgrades and abilities, many knowingly at time of print standardly illegal, they're saddled with.

I thought that *illegal* card cobos in quickbuilds were "balanced" becuase they were fixed and you cant swap a mod on Fenn Rau for another mod.

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1 minute ago, svelok said:

Thats a minor nitpick. Its that everything is loaded down with 30 upgrades - far overwhelming what a new player can keep track of, to whom even something like a single proton torpedo is a lot to wrap their head around. 

Fair point, but for a new player why not teach the game with generic heavy fighters.

Once you've learnt all the basics a dozen upgrades shouldnt be too much extra complexity, and saves them from having to build themselves. I also hope new quickbuilds enter the game and we can have a quickbuild tourney

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20 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

Why would you warn players away from them?  So some ships / pilots have abilities or upgrades in quick build format that they otherwise can't.  Why is that a problem?

They're not supposed to be representative of the (regularly changing) hyperspace or standard formats; that's like comparing apples to oranges.

Because if you want someone to like apples, you don't start by giving them an orange.

1 hour ago, FTS Gecko said:

Hmmm.  Quite the self-imposed conundrum you've saddled yourself with there Toothsky.

If only there was a way to put together a list QUICK without having to worry about points values at all.  Maybe, I don't know,  BUILD a list by choosing a number of ships up to a certain pre-set power level and Bob's your proverbial uncle, you've got yourself a game. in no time at all.

Amazing that no-one's thought of this kind of thing before.  Especially for casuals who just want to throw something together on the spot...

While I won't argue with the idea that the problem is largely very @Vontoothskie-specific, QB is not the XWM we grew to love in 1.0.  And it has problems of it's own.

2 hours ago, Vontoothskie said:

 but a lot of the spontaneous squad building magic of the game is gone.

While I don't play this way (I print a list and play it}, I certainly can empathize.  The cards have really become nothing more than pretty-looking garbage that are wholly unneeded as a game aid/playing component.  So if you really liked riffling thru them as prep-to-play, things aren't as interesting these days.

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1 hour ago, Scum4Life said:

Once you've learnt all the basics a dozen upgrades shouldnt be too much extra complexity, and saves them from having to build themselves

But what if... instead of a dozen upgrades, it was like, one pilot ability and 0-2 upgrades per ship? And those upgrades were reasonably appropriate? Wow, wouldn't that be awesome, to be able to say sure - grab the quickbuilds once you know the basics, they're a great starting point? 

Instead QB are more complex than most squads players would have built anyways and the target audience is exceedingly unclear but they're really not better for new players than learning how to build lists. Just a huge missed opportunity and I have no clue who the target audience is as a result.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, svelok said:

Thats a minor nitpick. Its that everything is loaded down with 30 upgrades - far overwhelming what a new player can keep track of, to whom even something like a single proton torpedo is a lot to wrap their head around. 

Hyperbole isn't helping your case here.  The maximum number of upgrades I can remember seeing on a quick build is six, and that's usually for a pilot like Boba Fett, which will amount to half a quick build list on his own.

Most quick build pilots have 2-3 upgrades.  Many of the generics have none.  That's nowhere near as complicated as you're attempting to make it out to be.

Choosing from a selection of ships with pre-set upgrades is undeniably a lot easier for new players to get to grips with than the alternative.

It's also a lot easier to throw a list together at a moment's notice, especially when you may not have access to a squad builder app (as per Toothy's gripe above).

Edit:

Imperial Quick Build, for your perusal:

Academy Pilot x 2 (threat level 2)

Storm Squadron Ace, Fire Control System (threat level 2)

Countess Ryad - Outmaneuver, Afterburners (threat level 4).

Done.  Four ships, three upgrade cards, all synergistic.  If that's still to complicated you can swap the X1 out for two more Academy Pilots.  Took longer to type out than it did to pick the list.

Edited by FTS Gecko

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29 minutes ago, svelok said:

But what if... instead of a dozen upgrades, it was like, one pilot ability and 0-2 upgrades per ship? And those upgrades were reasonably appropriate? Wow, wouldn't that be awesome, to be able to say sure - grab the quickbuilds once you know the basics, they're a great starting point? 

Instead QB are more complex than most squads players would have built anyways and the target audience is exceedingly unclear but they're really not better for new players than learning how to build lists. Just a huge missed opportunity and I have no clue who the target audience is as a result.

I'll add something I think would be cool: bare-bones QB builds, but with the option to spend an extra threat to get the massive upgrade package.

  • Basic Ten Nunb might be, I dunno, just Predator, and cost 2 threat.
    • Add a threat to get Passive Sensors, Proton Torpedoes, Shield Upgrade, and Munitions Failsafe.
  • Basic Chewbacca might be... just Engine Upgrade, and cost 3 threat.
    • Add three threat to get the whole movie crew.

When you're putting those extra upgrades clearly up against extra ships you could buy with threat, that hopefully would incentivize newer folks to go trim, but it'd still give the "I just want to fly the movie version" folks something the could use.  I'd put "When first starting out, try ships without the upgrade package!" in the rules guide as well...

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On 7/23/2020 at 11:59 PM, Vontoothskie said:

Its important to remember that a lot of us get into miniatures these days to escape digital media and get away from phones.

Players can get a better space fighter sim on a computer and have done so for almost 3 decades.  A tabletop game will never ever be able to compete with real time 3d computer power and AI in terms of a space combat experience, Particularly with Squadrons coming out soon.  But X-wing has 2 things a computer game doesnt: its physical components and non digital play.  if you push the game more towards digital, players like me will wonder why even bother? why not play Total War or Squadrons or whatever?

Squadrons is an EA project and frankly I don't trust it not to be garbage.

Most of the Star Wars flight simulators are at least a decade old.

Also?  I don't enjoy flight sims enough to drop so much as a penny on one.  I do, however, enjoy turn-based strategy both on the tabletop and in the digital realm.

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2 hours ago, pitchfork06 said:

on the subject of quickbuilds what is the logic of taking 2 x Academy ties at threat 2 instead of 2 x threat level 1 Academy ties?

It helps new players to match the threat level of their opponent. 

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10 minutes ago, reqent said:

It helps new players to match the threat level of their opponent. 

That's a benefit of the 1-TIE, not of the 2-TIEs.

3 hours ago, pitchfork06 said:

on the subject of quickbuilds what is the logic of taking 2 x Academy ties at threat 2 instead of 2 x threat level 1 Academy ties?

Maybe for scoring purposes.  Scoring Rules are pretty hazy for quickbuild, so if an opponent needed to kill both TIEs to earn that threat, this is a pretty nice improvement.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/27/2020 at 2:39 PM, theBitterFig said:

Maybe for scoring purposes.  Scoring Rules are pretty hazy for quickbuild, so if an opponent needed to kill both TIEs to earn that threat, this is a pretty nice improvement.

Yeah, this.  I'm assuming if the game went to time it would be threat destroyed vs threat destroyed.  So a player would have to destroy both Academy TIE's to score in this scenerio, while if it was 2 threat 1's they'd score if they destroyed 1.

Edited by FTS Gecko

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On 7/24/2020 at 8:44 AM, dezzmont said:

One fake way to sorta 'backdoor' dynamic pricing is to just give ships free upgrade points.

Scum Han, for example, 'wants' upgrades, but isn't actually a great carrier for his upgrades. He is meant to be this place you put all this janky stuff from Scum to make this custom ship, but he just isn't good enough for it to be worth investing points into him, and if the base chasis went down in price anymore it would be dumb. So a simple way to make you want to upgrade Falcon: A Starwars Story is to... just give you some free upgrade points on him, effectively discounting all upgrades on Scum Han by accounting for the loss of value in upgrading him as opposed to the Firespray by just giving you some free upgrades, rather than pushing his price down to the point where its such a cheap ship you start running a 'swarm' of large ships with a turret arc.

This avoids a lot of complicated 'exceptions based' costs, and prevents 'enforced metas' where a specific upgrade is what is discounted pushing the ship towards that artificially. It could however also be used to push a ship to specific upgrades if needed just by giving the points towards something the ship 'should' have but generally doesn't take (Such as the payload on the Y-wing). You can either offset the cost of an expected upgrade partially (Ex: Giving the Y-wing 1-2 points on their load so it still does cost something to put a turret, torp, or bomb on it, but less than most other ships, to discourage naked Y-wings, as an example), or just entirely give some free swag to a ship so you never have a reason to run it naked (the Scum Falcon is a good example of this, you probably would want to do something like increase its cost 1-2 points but give it 3-4 points to fill out its crew, gunners, ect).

This also increases balance resolution and helps solve the 'binder fodder' problem. Ships that are strong baseline ships struggle to get fancy tricks while maintaining numbers or pilot quality, while ships that are a bit more specialized, niche, or which are less internally synergistic are more likely to have unique, custom features to make up the shortfall.

The issue for this is what drove me away from Warmachine/Hordes. The extra freebies ends up throwing things one sided. Simply because your 200 pt list with 12 points of freebies would have an advantage over my 200 pt list that gets nothing extra. So now you end up with imbalances in list, capacity and capability. 
 

There is also the issue of taking a list that is 200 points and with free points now drops it down to 192 and an 8 point bid while still punching up at 200 points while other list remain unchanged. So what you ultimately end up with is everyone using ships that grant bonus points to exclusion because the value you get vs non- bonus style ships Is far too much to pass on.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ronu said:

Simply because your 200 pt list with 12 points of freebies would have an advantage over my 200 pt list that gets nothing extra

No it wouldn't, because that 200 point list with 12 extra freebie points got those extra freebie points specifically on ships that are bad.

It is saying 'OK, we know the K-wing is about 2-3 points over cost but it can't go lower, so we are lowering the cost to fly this ship, not by actually reducing its points cost, and instead adding 2-3 points for free to the upgrades you put on it, because by the mere virtue of flying this ship, your ship is 2 points worse than it should be.' You will have 202 worth of stuff, but your list is 'valued' at 200.

Another way to think about it is this: When the X-wing went down from 41 to 40 points, the 4x list was getting 4 extra points of stuff worth to play with, so a list that USED To cost 200 points could add 4 points more worth of stuff to it. In a way, 4x now has 204 points to play with. That is identical in effect as most of the X-wings getting 1 free upgrade point (With some X-wings going down in points by 2!), except it also had the much larger effect of also allowing you to run 5 blue Squad with 0 upgrades. 

In essence: Free upgrade points are a much smaller potential buff than points cost reductions on multiple levels: They require you to place the upgrade on the ship in question, which is not an efficient ship which means the upgrades are 'worse' than they otherwise would be, and they don't let you use those points for pilot upgrades or more ships. In any reality where you would be comfortable with a ship going down in price, you should be more comfortable with that ship instead getting free upgrade points.

 

Edited by dezzmont

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8 hours ago, dezzmont said:

No it wouldn't, because that 200 point list with 12 extra freebie points got those extra freebie points specifically on ships that are bad.

It is saying 'OK, we know the K-wing is about 2-3 points over cost but it can't go lower, so we are lowering the cost to fly this ship, not by actually reducing its points cost, and instead adding 2-3 points for free to the upgrades you put on it, because by the mere virtue of flying this ship, your ship is 2 points worse than it should be.' You will have 202 worth of stuff, but your list is 'valued' at 200.

Another way to think about it is this: When the X-wing went down from 41 to 40 points, the 4x list was getting 4 extra points of stuff worth to play with, so a list that USED To cost 200 points could add 4 points more worth of stuff to it. In a way, 4x now has 204 points to play with. That is identical in effect as most of the X-wings getting 1 free upgrade point (With some X-wings going down in points by 2!), except it also had the much larger effect of also allowing you to run 5 blue Squad with 0 upgrades. 

In essence: Free upgrade points are a much smaller potential buff than points cost reductions on multiple levels: They require you to place the upgrade on the ship in question, which is not an efficient ship which means the upgrades are 'worse' than they otherwise would be, and they don't let you use those points for pilot upgrades or more ships. In any reality where you would be comfortable with a ship going down in price, you should be more comfortable with that ship instead getting free upgrade points.

 

However, you neglect the upgrades that improve not just the ship it’s on but all the ships in a squad. So Leia now gets put in squad on a ship with a reduced cost. Said ship improves quite a bit as does the overall fleet for a fraction of the cost it is based at. So then Leia has to be increased further to offset that making it even harder for a squad that doesn’t get to add reduced cost upgrades and the effect loops back to my original argument.  
 

Let’s take another example. The Lambda shuttle: lets say it gets 4 points of upgrades free. Suddenly Vader is now 12 points vs his current 14, and you get 0-0-0 for 3, down from his current 5. So for basically the original cost of Vader you get to combo with 0-0-0 for 1 extra point. Suddenly that okay ship starts to look a lot more powerful. 

To Look at you K- wing 4 points of upgrades. You get Jyn Erso and a perceptive copilot for only 6 points. That some actual efficiency and since Jyn can affect any ship your K-wing is both tougher and so is the rest of your squad. Miranda takes a skilled bombardier  and Bomblet Generator for 3 points.... 

when looking at upgrades and free points it’s never in a vacuum. So the real math wizards (which I am not) will find a way to maximize those extra points to play above the 200 point limits. While still being at or below 200 points

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Ronu said:

However, you neglect the upgrades that improve not just the ship it’s on but all the ships in a squad.

Right. And these ships are bad carriers for those upgrades.

44 minutes ago, Ronu said:

Said ship improves quite a bit as does the overall fleet for a fraction of the cost it is based at

Depends on how aggressively its priced. However, if a ship that can carry a critical crew isn't seeing that crew member carried already, it means that the combo isn't efficient because the ship is a bad carrier of that crew.

THe Vader+Lambda is actually a great example. Vader+0-0-0 on the Lambda MIGHT see play if the chasis points cost reduction, because the Lambda, despite being a crew carrier platform... is kinda bad as a place to shove critical list wide crew: it has literally the worst dial in the game, 10 health which is... ok for a large, no turret, and only 1 defensive dice. I have killed a Lambda with Jake just poking at it before over a game.

Like 0-0-0 isn't even... good on the Lambda, because it doesn't exactly cry out for bonus mods. The correct choice would always be to give away a calculate, because what is it actually going to do with them that is scary? Vader is a bit better but its so easy to arc dodge and stay on the Lambda's side and so easy to hit you don't really care about losing greens offensively or defensively. 

Likewise, the K-wing is just a worse pick for a Leia carrier than a U-wing, even with discounts. It consistently struggles due to it, again, being rather easy to just murder, meaning slapping upgrades on it is lower value than their points cost would indicate.

44 minutes ago, Ronu said:

will find a way to maximize those extra points to play above the 200 point limits. While still being at or below 200 points

Again, you are implying that the list's 'real' value is above 200 points when the mere fact that a ship is not getting use and seeing upgrades indicates it is not.

The VCX got a buff of -1 points cost on its basic chasis, right? So, in a sense, the VCX+Leia, while previously evaluated at 75 points, is now evaluated at 74 in the game. This means, by your logic, any list running Leia on a generic VCX and hitting 200 points is 'in reality' a 201 point list.

This obviously doesn't make sense. The points got reduced because the VCX isn't good!

The K-wing got a points reduction of 6 in a specific case. Basically the price of Leia. This did not result in people saying 'Leia is basically free on Esege, she is only 1 point now on that chasis.'

By saying 'You would get a list that plays above the 200 point limit' you fundementally misunderstand how points balances work. A 20 point ship is in theory 'worth' 10% of a list, and two in theory should have the same effective power as one 40 point ship. If, however, it becomes clear that 40 point ship is much worse than 2 20 points ships, that 40 point ship isn't actually worth 40 points, the points cost is incorrect, and balance wise you fix it by reducing the price. This reduction in price allows you to upgrade more ships, get stronger ships to fly with it, or add more ships to fly with it. If that ship got reduced to 35 points, what that balance change is 'saying' is 'This ship we said was worth 40 points was not worth 40 points, it was worth 35, but you were paying for 40. From now on your going to pay 35.'

Likewise, a hypothetical 4 point reduced upgrade cost K-wing (and I don't know if that is the good number, but lets use it as an example and assume the K-wing IS off by 4 points but we can't lower it down there because that makes it hit the same major breakpoint the Y-wing does and its clearly 'better' than a Y-wing despite the Y-wing seeing play and K-wings not) isn't actually saying 'this list that was worth 200 is now getting 204 worth of stuff!' It is saying 'this list costs 200, but in reality it fights like its 196 points. Now you get 4 free points worth of stuff to actually fight at 200.'

The mistake your making is that your assuming that the ships that would be getting this are actually worth their cost in any capacity, like that currently a generic K-wing is worth 38 points, so Leia on a K-wing is worth 45 points, which means if that combo was reduced to being 41 points your list is now a 204 point list. But the reality is, the K-wing is currently overcosted, and just can't go down because of major breakpoints compared to other ships. By giving them the ability to upgrade a bit to offset this, it allows you to lower the cost even further without crashing through a breakpoint. You aren't ACTUALLY getting a discount on Leia that makes this ship a way to get extra points of upgrades into your list and getting a 204 point list, because your 'downgrading' your list in the first place by taking a K-wing or a Lambda or whatever. Right now, Leia on a K-wing (assuming it is overcosted by 4, which it may or may not be, I dunno there) makes your list a 196 point list, because the K-wing is 4 points 'worse' than what its points cost reflects.

Put another way: Is Leia on a Sheathipede a remotely good idea? Taking Leia on a Sheathapedle is only 39 points compared to the Blue Squad Scout's 50, meaning your list is now a 211 point list! Woo! Except obviously not, the Sheathapedle is so bad as a crew carrier due to its fragility and easily chased down nature, that those 11 points aren't 'free' and putting you to a list that has the power of a 211 point list... quite the opposite! The Sheathapedle swap makes your list  worse, much worse in fact because the ship is in the bottom 10% of ships in the entire game over the last entire year, meaning your far offsetting what you would gain by 11 points worth of expenditures elsewhere. 

This means you LOST points from your list's effective power even once you spend those 11 points, because the gap in preformance between the U-wing and the Sheathapedle is larger than what the 11 point gap suggests and is more of a loss in value than what 11 points can buy in other places, specifically in the domain of carrying crew. You can't just look at what the costs of ships and upgrades are, you need to actually evaluate performance, which is what costs are trying to evaluate and price, and when there is a gap, you need to adjust costs down to compensate when possible. When a ship can't be priced down more, there need to be other tools to effectively drop the price.

Edited by dezzmont

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