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Point rebalance

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15 hours ago, Khobai said:

that is literally only a problem if the company refuses to print updated cards every year and sell them as packs. like FFG refuses to do. in other words its a problem FFG could easily solve but wont probably for ridiculous cost saving reasons.

Yeah.. it's not that simple.

The idea that all problems will be solved by simply forcing the players to pay FFG to rebalance the game is a huge assumption. They don't make players pay to fix the game currently, so asking them to start won't be easy.

Your solution does reduce the need to refer to an online document, but it doesn't eliminate it entirely, unless they just refuse to update anything until the annual card pack release. 

And given their long and continuing history of supply problems, a pay-to-play mandatory card pack every year would have to meet demand. Otherwise, you'll have a mix of current and obsolete cards and more confusion than we have now. 

You'd also need to have a system to quickly identify which version of the card it is. And even then, we would still need a separate document telling us which is the current revision for any card.

Otherwise, the packaging and cost of those card packs would be difficult to nail down too. Do you make one pack each year or faction specific ones? Maybe 4 faction specific, and one generic upgrades pack? How much do they cost? Is it a function of how many cards get updated, or do you make it even across all factions (ie, does it cost more to play armies they did a bad job of balancing in the first place)? How many copies of each updated card?

It's not a bad idea, but it's not an easy solution.

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On 8/16/2020 at 12:44 PM, OneLastMidnight said:

Not gonna comment on too many specific changes since that would take all day. Just two things :

 

1- Clone ability to share standbys may need to go. But, I think that the level of panic about GAR needs to come way down. It's pretty insane that people are calling for balancing a unit that nobody even has yet (ARCs), in a game that is notoriously slow to make any balance changes, especially since the unit itself isn't the actual problem in my opinion.

ARC strike teams look strong, but strike teams in general are a huge burden on game design in Legion. The ability to provide targeted, high reliability damage combined with cheap orders is always going to be problematic for any faction, as can be seen in essentially any list in a competitive environment.

If a unit concept is so efficient that all factions use 2 to 3 of them in every single list, then it needs to be addressed at the root. I like the idea of 1/strike per full similar unit, but simply limiting strike teams to 1 per army would at least foster some list variety.

This would also serve to address activation bloat. I probably don't have a perfect solution here, but something needs to be done about Strike Teams.

 

2- Can we stop pretending that we're not living in 2020?

People have cellphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, sometimes several of some or each of those. Internet access is ubiquitous. Saying that we need to have cards for the "casual crowd" is ludicrous.

The idea of having paper components is harming all FFG competitive games by limiting their ability to tweak the game.

Sure there are probably couples playing at the kitchen tables using cards but I can't imagine that this is a majority of players. This is a fairly high-cost competitive game, people want up to date rules, people want balancing to occur as often as is needed.

The move needs to be made to either all-digital or mostly digital game data. Even having only point costs online is not enough. The more "knobs" you can turn to balance a game (adding or removing keywords, upgrade slots, damage dice, etc) the better the game can be balanced.

When you only have a giant POINT COST knob you often lack the tools you need to bring some units in line.

Having one foot in, one foot out is also a terrible idea. You can't start out with paper components then start changing the range on weapons and not expect people to be a little confused. They need to commit one way or the other, and in my opinion the only option is to commit to digital.

Sure FFG didn't put its best foot forward with the X-Wing app, but that doesn't mean they have to stop trying, it just means they have to do better.

Amen

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Posted (edited)

I think people hitting the panic button on clones and sniper teams is dumb.

Sure, some units are a bit over/under costed, but overall the game is pretty great.

The designers are multiple additions to the game ahead in play-testing new units.

1. Sniper and smaller teams were clearly designed to give people more points for other units, whilst still allowing a player to have at least a moderate unit count.
I don't like cheap units in this game, but now I can understand why they are there.

2. Clones have a specific faction ability that enables them to be played as an elite networked faction, that relies on synergy to function well. The ability to lock-down parts of the board can be mitigated with armor. Tanks are a great way of 'tanking' those standby's and then nailing the unit that was shooting at them. I do think the big tanks probably need pierce 1 on their big main guns, but otherwise they do have a purpose here. Also, the standby bubble is only in one section of the table, you can try to go around it, or run more range 4-5 weapons. There are some options.

3. I just think, the thing that is most telling, is that the new factions have semi-faction wide abilities, that give them a lot of flavor. Droids with their immunity to suppressed and AI/activation control stuff. Clones with their strong token sharing. The old factions don't have these inherent bonuses. I think they should give the rebels and imps some sort of similar faction ability, that gives them some extra flexibility and flavor.

Edited by lologrelol

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, lologrelol said:

3. I just think, the thing that is most telling, is that the new factions have semi-faction wide abilities, that give them a lot of flavor. Droids with their immunity to suppressed and AI/activation control stuff. Clones with their strong token sharing. The old factions don't have these inherent bonuses. I think they should give the rebels and imps some sort of similar faction ability, that gives them some extra flexibility and flavor.

The Empire was always a faction that did a lot with suppression and aims, while the Rebels get more usage out of dodge tokens, and rely quite heavily on their big pieces, mostly Commanders/Operatives, though recently their support slot as well.

They have faction identities they just aren't as mechanically powerful as what the droids and clones have. The problem is, not only are their base mechanics weaker, but as the game has progressed those mechanics have been overshadowed by new things that have come out. For example on the Rebel side, they're having to add in a new upgrade just so that dodge can be brought up in power again, as it has become a lot easier over time to get around people's dodge tokens. As for the big hero pieces for the Rebels, well now every faction has something that can compete with and even surpass their Heroes, especially the earlier ones. Then their is suppression, great against the Rebels or even other Imperials, but the droids are hardly effected by it, and the clones have built in fire support to get around it if it stacks up to high. Then there is aims, sure rolling more dice with aims is nice, but when you compare that to the amount and quality of dice the clones can throw out there, it just doesn't help that much to be able to re-roll 3 white dice over 2.

It all comes from a place of being very conservative when the game came out, as they were trying to find their feet, and see what worked and what didn't. Now they've had the time and experience with the player base the Devs know what will work and what won't, and can design really well made units, it is just unfortunate that the early releases had to be the canary in the coal mine, for us to get to this point, and so the two starting factions have been hurt the most.

Edited by Nithorian

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3 hours ago, lologrelol said:

Sure, some units are a bit over/under costed, but overall the game is pretty great.

Completely agree here!

3 hours ago, lologrelol said:

2. Clones have a specific faction ability that enables them to be played as an elite networked faction, that relies on synergy to function well. The ability to lock-down parts of the board can be mitigated with armor. Tanks are a great way of 'tanking' those standby's and then nailing the unit that was shooting at them. I do think the big tanks probably need pierce 1 on their big main guns, but otherwise they do have a purpose here. Also, the standby bubble is only in one section of the table, you can try to go around it, or run more range 4-5 weapons. There are some options.

Clones as an elite networked factions is good. But I think some Clone units are highly undercosted. Compare Phase I to Phase II -  for +8P you get a surge token each round (if you convert even one defense die during the entire game you already got more than 8P value back!), courage 2 which lets them keep both actions most of the time and the very important training upgrade for either offensive push (for TTC) or Overwatch for the dreaded standby bubble. Put 2 Phase IIs with overwatch range 2 apart and a standby unit in the middle (a bit in the back) you get a huge section of the table in your bubble. You can't simply get around it because objectives force you to approach certain sections of the table.

Vehicles are a solid counter to that and I like everything that makes them stronger. But the clones bubble makes so many selections (especially short ranged ones which have a hard time already) completely unusable. And clones can make that happen with easy 11 activations.

40 minutes ago, Nithorian said:

They have faction identities they just aren't as mechanically powerful as what the droids and clones have. The problem is, not only are their base mechanics weaker, but as the game has progressed those mechanics have been overshadowed by new things that have come out. For example on the Rebel side, they're having to add in a new upgrade just so that dodge can be brought up in power again, as it has become a lot easier over time to get around people's dodge tokens. As for the big hero pieces for the Rebels, well now every faction has something that can compete with and even surpass their Heroes, especially the earlier ones. Then their is suppression, great against the Rebels or even other Imperials, but the droids are hardly effected by it, and the clones have built in fire support to get around it if it stacks up to high. Then there is aims, sure rolling more dice with aims is nice, but when you compare that to the amount and quality of dice the clones can throw out there, it just doesn't help that much to be able to re-roll 3 white dice over 2.

Dodge tokens were never good except on jedi. Nimble on Rebel troopers is almost useless. First you need to use actions or special rules to get dodges on them and then they still die pretty fast. Also the quality of the dice did not change. Z-6 Clones have exactly the same dice as Z-6 Rebel Troopers. The difference is, they are a) a lot more resilient and b) can share tokens - which they basically get for free with all the underpriced reliable and tactical.

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Posted (edited)

Clone token sharing would probably never be brought up if they were truly "quality over quantity" and had noticeabky less activations that the rest (ie. 8-9 would be typical, 10 would require running everything barebone).

However, they got a lot of cheap and very effective units (Rex, Padme, R2, Strike teams) which make "low numbers" not matter anymore. So, all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. On top of that, soon they will get another cheap, effective unit with surge to crit (AT-RT).

Also, if I take a naked Stormtrooper unit, it is a fairly useless activation that can only do backfield duty. A naked P1 squad, on the other hand, is a very effective token battery for more expensive units.

Edited by costi

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32 minutes ago, costi said:

Clone token sharing would probably never be brought up if they were truly "quality over quantity" and had noticeabky less activations that the rest (ie. 8-9 would be typical, 10 would require running everything barebone).

I think the real issue is R2. He provides so much for 35 points.
 

33 minutes ago, costi said:

However, they got a lot of cheap and very effective units (Rex, Padme, R2, Strike teams) which make "low numbers" not matter anymore. So, all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. On top of that, soon they will get another cheap, effective unit with surge to crit (AT-RT).

The GAR AT-RT is surge hit. It has a 1B2W main gun with Crit 1. Don't confuse it with the Rebel version that does have surge crit.

 

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7 hours ago, lologrelol said:

1. Sniper and smaller teams were clearly designed to give people more points for other units, whilst still allowing a player to have at least a moderate unit count.
I don't like cheap units in this game, but now I can understand why they are there.

I don't object to the existence of sniper teams, I object very strongly to people spamming them to boost their activation counts. If I were to make a change to all of them, I'd give them the detachment keyword with their respective parent units so you can still use them, but get rid of the obnoxious spam.

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On 8/17/2020 at 8:11 AM, 5particus said:

the main reason that standby tokens were not used before was the prevalence of sniper teams. standby got a slight buff when the snipers went from infinite range to range 5 but now that clones can hide behind LOS blocking cover and still give their standby to another unit means that the main hard counter to it is gone. 

I have to completely disagree.  I've been playing long enough to remember the time before strike teams took over the game.  Standbys were rarely used then.  Outside of move/standby on E-Webs, they were so rarely used that an explanation of what a standby token did was frequently required for games even up to the RPQ level.  The problem wasn't snipers, it was the range limitations of most unit's standby action.  That's why even standby sharing wasn't the "OMG, nerf it!" big deal it is until Phase IIs came out and suddenly you could standby share and use it at range 3.  Cheap units to help the lists like R2, and moderately priced units like Rex and Padme have just helped the streamline that issue. 

 

At this point, I'm just imagining the hate a Clone E-Web would get for standby sharing/Sentinel baked in for a cheap cost and a decent dice pool.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth that would ensue from a heavy machine gun analog firing multiple times is hilarious. 

23 hours ago, Mokoshkana said:

@Alpha17 It is a shame your meme has not gotten the love it deserves. If I could like it more than once, I would!

 

 

Haha, I didn't think it would get the love it has.  Made it on a whim as a joke.  Might have to share it on Facebook, since all memes end up there eventually anyway. 

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23 minutes ago, KarlVonCarstein said:

I don't object to the existence of sniper teams, I object very strongly to people spamming them to boost their activation counts. If I were to make a change to all of them, I'd give them the detachment keyword with their respective parent units so you can still use them, but get rid of the obnoxious spam.

The issue with that is that it would limit strike teams to 1, and the full units for Empire and Rebels are bad enough that they would be taken rarely or not at all.  If that's what you want, why not just limit strike teams to 1?

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19 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

The issue with that is that it would limit strike teams to 1, and the full units for Empire and Rebels are bad enough that they would be taken rarely or not at all.  If that's what you want, why not just limit strike teams to 1?

I wouldn't have a problem with limiting them to 1, but a lot of people seem to object to hard limits. Giving strike teams detachment would do the same thing, and maby encourage the developers to look at scouts/commandos and give them a buff as well.

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33 minutes ago, KarlVonCarstein said:

I wouldn't have a problem with limiting them to 1, but a lot of people seem to object to hard limits. Giving strike teams detachment would do the same thing, and maby encourage the developers to look at scouts/commandos and give them a buff as well.

Why would FFG do this though? Aren't they in the business of selling models?  I can't imagine them ever limiting the number of boxes by restricting the game this way.

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1 minute ago, buckero0 said:

Why would FFG do this though? Aren't they in the business of selling models?  I can't imagine them ever limiting the number of boxes by restricting the game this way.

Not only that, but imagine how all the people who bought/preordered 3 scout/commando/BX/ARC boxes would feel if they suddenly only needed 1 or 2.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lochlan said:

Not only that, but imagine how all the people who bought/preordered 3 scout/commando/BX/ARC boxes would feel if they suddenly only needed 1 or 2.

I could also say the same thing for those of us who bought any of the heavy expansions and have to play in the current meta that discourage their use. Those boxes do come with another unit besides the strike teams. If they improve the base unit then there might be a reason to use all those extra models.  It's not the best answer, but I'm not sure there is a good answer. I just really hate the curreny high activation meta and strike teams are the main unit perpetuating this meta. I'd love to take my 7 activation republic list with obi-wan and a Saber and not auto loose because everyone will out activate me by a huge margin.

Edited by KarlVonCarstein

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4 hours ago, Mokoshkana said:

I think the real issue is R2. He provides so much for 35 points.
 

The GAR AT-RT is surge hit. It has a 1B2W main gun with Crit 1. Don't confuse it with the Rebel version that does have surge crit.

 

Ok, sorry, I thought it had the same conversion since many other things are similar.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, SailorMeni said:

Completely agree here!

Clones as an elite networked factions is good. But I think some Clone units are highly undercosted. Compare Phase I to Phase II -  for +8P you get a surge token each round (if you convert even one defense die during the entire game you already got more than 8P value back!), courage 2 which lets them keep both actions most of the time and the very important training upgrade for either offensive push (for TTC) or Overwatch for the dreaded standby bubble. Put 2 Phase IIs with overwatch range 2 apart and a standby unit in the middle (a bit in the back) you get a huge section of the table in your bubble. You can't simply get around it because objectives force you to approach certain sections of the table.

Vehicles are a solid counter to that and I like everything that makes them stronger. But the clones bubble makes so many selections (especially short ranged ones which have a hard time already) completely unusable. And clones can make that happen with easy 11 activations.

Dodge tokens were never good except on jedi. Nimble on Rebel troopers is almost useless. First you need to use actions or special rules to get dodges on them and then they still die pretty fast. Also the quality of the dice did not change. Z-6 Clones have exactly the same dice as Z-6 Rebel Troopers. The difference is, they are a) a lot more resilient and b) can share tokens - which they basically get for free with all the underpriced reliable and tactical.

I don't think Phase IIs are the problem. Sure you get very decent value out of them, but people are using Invader League as a benchmark, which is fair, but enables the use of ARC Strike Teams.

So Phase IIs with activation padding are strong, but activation padding is a problem for the game as a whole.

Other results have shown the GAR to be strong but no stronger than the top options of other factions when using currently available models.

I can't speak for other players, but I'm pretty fed up with having to get as many activations onto my lists as humanly possible, never using personnel upgrades, using the cheapest possible heavy weapons, shoving strike teams into every list...

 

6 hours ago, costi said:

Clone token sharing would probably never be brought up if they were truly "quality over quantity" and had noticeabky less activations that the rest (ie. 8-9 would be typical, 10 would require running everything barebone).

However, they got a lot of cheap and very effective units (Rex, Padme, R2, Strike teams) which make "low numbers" not matter anymore. So, all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. On top of that, soon they will get another cheap, effective unit with surge to crit (AT-RT).

Also, if I take a naked Stormtrooper unit, it is a fairly useless activation that can only do backfield duty. A naked P1 squad, on the other hand, is a very effective token battery for more expensive units.

They don't "have" strike teams yet. We don't know yet what's happening in the next balancing and RRG updates. We're assuming nothing changes in regards to activations and strike teams, but I highly doubt that.

 

1 hour ago, buckero0 said:

Why would FFG do this though? Aren't they in the business of selling models?  I can't imagine them ever limiting the number of boxes by restricting the game this way.

This has happened several times in FFG games and it shouldn't stop them from balancing the game properly, and to their credit, it hasn't so far.

How many people own 4 K-Wings because they were strong towards the end of X-Wing 1.0? Not so strong now...

Edited by OneLastMidnight

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To be fair, the full ARC team lists also do extremely well. We all love to hate strike teams, but that hate misses the mark, here.
 

I don't really have any sympathy for concerns of "but I already bought the minis!!". You still have those lovely Star Wars minis you bought, you haven't lost anything. I've bought 5 boxes of Rebel Commandos so far because I wanted an "Endor" army and a "Hoth" army.

This is a miniature wargame. If a unit is "too good" it will be adjusted. Thinking that you are "owed" wins because you bought into an army you were told was good is foolishness.

 

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24 minutes ago, colki said:

If a unit is "too good" it will be adjusted. Thinking that you are "owed" wins because you bought into an army you were told was good is foolishness.

Nobody is saying they are owed wins.  Literally nobody!  And this isn't about changing units to make them balanced.  If someone bought 3 boxes of something because they wanted to field three of whatever is in that box, and then later a change is made so they legally can only field one, there's a good chance they will be annoyed by that.

Does that mean strike teams or anything else should never be changed?  Obviously not.  Are there changes they could make that would allow FFG to sell as many boxes as possible and not pissing off people that already bought multiples?  Yes, definitely.

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11 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

If someone bought 3 boxes of something because they wanted to field three of whatever is in that box, and then later a change is made so they legally can only field one, there's a good chance they will be annoyed by that.

Probably so, but FFG already made a change like this in Armada restricting flotillas to a maximum of 2 (where some people fielded many more than that, if I'm not mistaken there was even a succesfull tournament list with around 8 flotillas), and the general response of the players to this change was good because flotilla spaming was killing the game. So if strike team spamming is killing Legion, then I think that most of the players will be glad if there's some change to limit them.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Lemmiwinks86 said:

Probably so, but FFG already made a change like this in Armada restricting flotillas to a maximum of 2 (where some people fielded many more than that, if I'm not mistaken there was even a succesfull tournament list with around 8 flotillas), and the general response of the players to this change was good because flotilla spaming was killing the game. So if strike team spamming is killing Legion, then I think that most of the players will be glad if there's some change to limit them.

Strike Teams are already limited.  You can only bring 3 of them.  In a typical list, that is 30% or less of the total units, and only about 20% of the points.  Which is a smaller percentage of the list than 2 flotillas is in a typical Armada list (in terms of activations).

The problem is that more activations is better than fewer activations, up to a certain point (the game is absolutely not as many activations as physically possible, no matter how often people say that).  Every unit type is limited, and there are only so many cheap options.  So, especially if you want to take expensive units in a list (which most people do, including good tournament winning lists), you need to take whatever cheap options you can.  So if strike teams are limited below 3, people will just move to something else.  So either strike teams need to have their cost increased (again), or a change needs to be made to activations (e.g. a pass mechanic), or blue player needs to be determined by activations, or activations need to be capped, or something else entirely that I haven't thought of or seen other people discuss.

Edited by Lochlan

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4 minutes ago, costi said:

We have full information about then, it's not like ARCs will suddenly perform differently once the plastic hits the tables in under two weeks.

I think some people assume the RRG that should have come out weeks ago will have something that drastically changes how effective strike teams are. I'm dubious of the claim, but it's not impossible.

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

Strike Teams are already limited.  You can only bring 3 of them.  In a typical list, that is 30% or less of the total units, and only about 20% of the points.  Which is a smaller percentage of the list than 2 flotillas is in a typical Armada list (in terms of activations).

The problem is that more activations is better than fewer activations, up to a certain point (the game is absolutely not as many activations as physically possible, no matter how often people say that).  Every unit type is limited, and there are only so many cheap options.  So, especially if you want to take expensive units in a list (which most people do, including good tournament winning lists), you need to take whatever cheap options you can.  So if strike teams are limited below 3, people will just move to something else.  So either strike teams need to have their cost increased (again), or a change needs to be made to activations (e.g. a pass mechanic), or blue player needs to be determined by activations, or activations need to be capped, or something else entirely that I haven't thought of or seen other people discuss.

You kinda hit the nail on the head though. In a 11-activation list, if you have 3 strike teams, that's 27% of your activations from ~18.75% of your points. It's even worse the fewer activations you have.

Not only that, they're not a crappy pushover unit (someone above mentioned an un-upgraded, naked Stormtrooper squad), they're actually bringing an excellent gun to the party and can stay safe and protect your activation count for a good while.

This level of efficiency is what's problematic, and to a greater extent, the concept of activations in general which encourages using as many units as possible; using fewer, more expensive units is not a real competitive option.

If people move on from Strike Teams, that would be a good thing in my opinion. They're used in every single list in the GenCon Online Top 8 (for factions that have access to them anyway), and used in 18/20 lists of the Invader league top 20 with at least 2 units, and most of the time, 3x.

If not over-powered, they are way over-efficient, and a unit this ubiquitous across all factions is a problem for the game. When using a unit stops being a choice and is an obvious necessity, it's a core design problem with that unit.

Edited by OneLastMidnight

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