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Bucknife

Old Faithful (Seeing competitive T-65s)

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Replacing charge based regen with charged based reinforce may be an idea. It still is thematic to reducing damage but it stops rewarding you from running away and becomes a way to force value out of a trade during a limited window.

The one change I would make? Have it be a systems phase choice, so that there is a lot of outplay potential. That serves the purpose of making the rebel matchup unique, and feels similar to say... Leia: Now you need to predict the turn where they are going to "Do the Thing" (TM) and have an amazing, heroic turn where the music swells. You fail? Suddenly your jousting a bunch of reinforced tough ships. You succeed? Do it once more and the rebels probably lost. The systems phase is a great place to put really powerful timing based effects as it allows lists that can't out-initiate aces to have decision points they can make to try to surprise Aces, and it lets it be more powerful because it isn't just a 'free reinforce action when you most need it.'

That said, regen is less potent in 2.0 than I think people think it was. You go back to before Jedi and it was really clear it wasn't getting much done: There was a reason they buffed it! The cost of losing an entire engagement turn with a ship almost always was higher than the benefit of the regen, because a rebel ship usually takes more than 1 damage a turn, so it actually was a pretty skill intensive card. But Jedi are ships that can easily run away and disengage and force turns where they take 1 or less damage due to double repo, a better dial, 3 defense, and constant force access.

 

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1 hour ago, dezzmont said:

Replacing charge based regen with charged based reinforce may be an idea. It still is thematic to reducing damage but it stops rewarding you from running away and becomes a way to force value out of a trade during a limited window.

The one change I would make? Have it be a systems phase choice, so that there is a lot of outplay potential. That serves the purpose of making the rebel matchup unique, and feels similar to say... Leia: Now you need to predict the turn where they are going to "Do the Thing" (TM) and have an amazing, heroic turn where the music swells. You fail? Suddenly your jousting a bunch of reinforced tough ships. You succeed? Do it once more and the rebels probably lost. The systems phase is a great place to put really powerful timing based effects as it allows lists that can't out-initiate aces to have decision points they can make to try to surprise Aces, and it lets it be more powerful because it isn't just a 'free reinforce action when you most need it.'

 

 

Yeah I can see your point about a system phase, or start of the activation phase timing window for a reinforce charge. I might consider making it 3 charges with the added risk reward factor. 

Maybe more abilities in that window is a good design space for Rebels overall. You already have Leia working well there. Plays with the themes of activating cunning plans or extreme actions and seeing if they pay off.

Eg:  An astromech that allows you barrel roll if a device is placed in range 1 of you. 

Good defensively but also could used offensively by you dropping a device so you can reposition, a coordinated event. Something like that... again loose ideas.  

Edited by Tyhar7

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2 hours ago, Tyhar7 said:

Maybe more abilities in that window is a good design space for Rebels overall. You already have Leia working well there. Plays with the themes of activating cunning plans or extreme actions and seeing if they pay off.

It definitely has some theme to it: The rebels often would be slightly deceptive and suddenly enact a galaxy brain plan with stuff like the A-wing Slash. So having charged based systems phase stuff fits this concept of them often pulling off unusual strategies. Its too bad 'Its the Resistance' is... well... resistance. Would be a good way to represent the Rebel's tendency to engage in fights straight out of a Hyperspace jump.

There are worse 'themes' for rebels than an "Oh yeah, its all coming together..." systems phase buff/support tools plan.

Could even be a list limited thing: Take 4 'high command' upgrades: Leia, Mon Mothma, Commander Sato, and Akbar, and make it so you can't have more than one of them, and give them all a 3 recharge systems phase ability (And, if necessary, a passive effect on top if that helps differentiate them). Maybe Mon Mothma gets you dial information, Akbar a Reinforce, and perhaps Sato could try to synergize with generics (He was primarily a recruiter after all) by giving out calculates or something on a turn.

Edited by dezzmont

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On 9/17/2020 at 3:21 PM, Npmartian said:

I think the justification for selfless being 1 would be "how does this compare to Heroic?" My guess is it's a little bit better, so maybe 2? If I could say 1.5 I would, but rebels need all the help they can get like you said, so I'd be happy with 1.

 

On 9/17/2020 at 3:28 PM, Amc879 said:

I think heroic is better than selfless because heroic can prevent damage where selfless only moves it around. 

Also there's the range bubble and arc requirement for selfless where heroic is always on

 

On 9/17/2020 at 3:42 PM, 5050Saint said:

1 point selfless might go too far. 2 points would be a good trial costing.

I'm gonna plug instance scaled pricing here, since Selfless gets better the more that are on the board. 1 point for 1 Selfless upgrade in a list. 2 points each for 2 Selfless in a list. 3 points for 3 or more Selfless in a list.

If it's too good at one point they can move it up to two, but yeah Heroic is better at a point, and I think it is fine where it is.

Currently nobody plays Selfless, so I'm not sure a point would be enough to convince enough players to try it out.

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The big draw of X-wings is that they combine a solid dial, good firepower, good speed, and decent durability.  They have no glaring weakness.  Their defensive profile is such that they're not heavily punished for spending actions on offense, but it is still good enough to avoid damage at range or behind obstacles if you do play defensively.  With boost, they have great options to set up favorable openings, but still can 1-straight to victory when they've reached an advantageous position.  They are enormously flexible, and don't give up a lot to be that way.  Right now, the generics and mid-initiative ships are underperforming, but theure not terrible, and their performance is more due to under costed other stuff than some inherent weakness in the X-wing.  

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I agree that this is primarily a cost issue.  The X-wing is an inherently good platform, it's just not that affordable.  

I think it's also a skill issue.  The X-wing is very forgiving for the reasons Biophysical mentioned.  It's easy to get decent performance out of them without being a great pilot.  But it tends to get outclassed by other ships flown by highly skilled pilots that can take advantage of more nuanced toys.

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28 minutes ago, Brightguy said:

I agree that this is primarily a cost issue.  The X-wing is an inherently good platform, it's just not that affordable.  

I think it's also a skill issue.  The X-wing is very forgiving for the reasons Biophysical mentioned.  It's easy to get decent performance out of them without being a great pilot.  But it tends to get outclassed by other ships flown by highly skilled pilots that can take advantage of more nuanced toys.

I actually disagree with this.  The problem ships are, as always, Jedi and Imperial aces and similar highly maneuverable high offense/defense/initiative ships with the new (probably temporary) problem of Nantex.  None of those are nuanced, they're just really good for the cost and require you to have a lot of X-wings on the board to have a good chance of killing them. 

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4 hours ago, Brightguy said:

I agree that this is primarily a cost issue.  The X-wing is an inherently good platform, it's just not that affordable.  

Good is contextual. By what metric is the X-wing actually an inherently good platform?

To me, I think a big woe of the X-wing is that it turns out that what the X-wing is good at isn't very valuable until you start to get into NPE territory in terms of how much you can field. Which kinda means it isn't a cost issue, because the cost can't go lower.

The X-wing going any lower than it currently costs means you able to replace X-wings with U-wings in a 5X list. That obviously isn't going to work out. 

A big problem with the X-wing is that from what we are seeing some extra health isn't worth making dial sacrifices, agility sacrifices, or ability sacrifices for, until that extra health becomes such a big wall that it kinda lets you brute force games. But if it doesn't make those sacrifices it just replaces every other 'straightforward' jousting list. And then compared to the ships the 'next tier up' having spare points on them doesn't matter in X-wing when those points can't be spent anywhere. And they aren't even that tough: 4.2 shots to kill isn't actually very survivable, especially because they get less of a 'spike' from a defensive focus like the TIE. So without Leia, Cassian, or 'draw' pilots or characters like the B-wings (which suffered extremely heavily for losing access to Leia) or Wedge, what is the actual point of making sacrifices to get a ship that is 'kinda good' at lots of stuff if it doesn't cohere into a real strategy?

And this is really the problem X-wings and the rebels face, because the B-wings kinda forced every actually good tool in their kit to get nerfed: The statline of the X-wing is awkward, their initiative values on their named characters are awkward, their maneuverability is awkward. I would rather pay 3 extra points to get a Fang, which is like an X-wing that is really clearly extremely good at face to face brawling with a good dial, or save 15 points to get TIE/FOs if I want to spam ships that are kinda hard to kill and pretty maneuverable. And without Rebel Exclusive tools on top of that I really want (the closest is I guess Jake?), and without a desire to use their slots, that is that... I just would never take a T-65 as my first choice for its statline. Their statline is 'good' but not at its price, and if it went down to a price where its statline is actually good it just enables more nonsense, because dropping points can't ever be thought about in a vacuum, which is why I am always skeptical of the 'its just points' argument. Dropping points exists to enable lists to better exploit other stuff, and a huge problem with rebels is the only thing they can really exploit now is 'more unfun tanky stats.'

Rebels are sorta 'points softlocked' right now on how efficient their ships can be in terms of their 'lower end' balance, AKA how good they can be at their cheapest. Maybe they will go down anyway because they dropped the Nantex as hard as they did, but the Nantex, to be blunt, got special treatment because its a sequel era ship, and on top of that I don't think anyone thinks the amount of stats the Nantex now pushes in a list is a good idea.

So that is why people are looking at upgrade buffs, new powerful upgrades, or buffs to the prices of pilots: If you know how X-wings and Rebels overall fly and their list history,  your probably not too hopeful for another points drop. It might happen, because Spamtex happen, but that isn't necessarily a good thing. The place rebels could 'get good' is being allowed to push more power into individual ships (which helps make their slightly improved durability on other ships as cheap or cheaper than them, and their slots that they have on ships at similar price points that are MUCH more durable than them, into a healthier asset without having to push so many stats that the game gets dumb),  without reducing any ship's price, which means we don't have to fear the return of some mega-beef list.

Taking some focus off their statlines and making the draw something else by rejiggering some points around would make a world of difference for the faction. Dropping the X-wing by another point or two wouldn't, all its problems would ultimately be the same, but in a way kinda worse because now even MORE of the faction is 'hard committed' to being about its stat line. Some rebel ships could probably drop to help combine with a focus to the power of its unique ships and exclusive upgrades, but ultimately every faction has stats, so stats can only do so much to help a faction unless the stats get stupid to the point that nuanced interactions of abilities don't matter in the face of this overwhelming beef power.

Edited by dezzmont

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All platforms are not created equal....

It's canon. T65s are supposed to be outclassed by many ships. 

The issue at hand is not how to make the Xwing be better, as in, TIE/d good; the issue is, "what would need to change to make this platform a more desirable option in the Rebel competitive arsenal?"

This is a question that deserves some conversation, and I think it's what most people are generally trying to discuss on this thread, even if we aren't sure what those answers are, per se. 

My own personal take leans into new Rebel exclusive content over raw points changes. 

I think we've basically reached the limits of what the 200 point scale on on efficiency scales of 7 factions can handle for a lot of ships and upgrades (current Nantex costing excluded). 

Sure, I'd like to see cheaper upgrades for Rebs and Resistance... because they are toolbox-centric in theme. 

But unfortunately, it's not that simple.

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I bring X-wings all the time and have had some pretty good success. 

Wedge hits like a truck

Thane is way underrated and can really mess with your opponent 

Luke is expensive but very consistent  (especially when paired with jyn erso/gas clouds)

Garven is a backbone of I4 fairship 

The partisans

The generics are great for cheap 3 dice attacks with good blocking capabilities

 

But the catch is that X-wings make not a squad

X wings are generalists. They can do a little bit of everything, but are best at hitting hard. 

If you try to fight with only X-wings, (ace or generics) you'll lose ships fast and probably won't be able to win the damage race against dedicated offensive ships.

The solution?

The rest of the rebel faction has your back.

Norra Wexly can take the joust and let your X-wings safely attack. U-wings and wookies carry important crew like leia or K2 to support and still hit hard. Y-wings can soak hits and can carry a myriad of tools to let Your X-wings get the job done. Attack shuttles can carry important crew and act as kites and flankers to make the enemy split forces and let the X-wings do their acey stuff without extra arcs pinning them down. A-wings can use intimidation to make the whole squad hit harder while also denying actions, which helps the whole squad's offensive output. B-wings have big Ol'guns that drastically increase your joust strength.

All the ships above are very good at what they do, but they have weaknesses. This is where your X-wings really shine as a supplement to cover for anything the rest of the squad can't do. They're an everyman who can handle any situation if you're good at the fundamentals of X-wing and know how to adapt to the challenges.

For example: I like to fly Norra in the ARC, Zeb in the attack shuttle with leia, and wedge+thane.

If found myself paired up against a droid list. Norra jousted and used her ability to weather the storm while the other ships flanked out in a semi circle. My X-wings didn't have to worry about enemy fire, so they were free to take offensive mods. Later, the droids are coming around try and kill the X-wings. Normally disengaging would be hard to do since X-wings need to deal damage to win, and their dial isn't the best for reengaging easily with good mods. Luckily I brought the attack shuttle with leia, so I was able to outmaneuver the droids with talon rolls the next round.

TL:DR: X-wings are not meant to be spammed. They synergize very well with other rebel chassis, however, and work beautifully in rebel salads

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In a casual setting, a Rebel Salad can do fine. However, once a competitive list (even when played by a non-competitive player, like say... Boba) rears its head, the fact that these ships depend on each other to earn value really starts to hurt. One problem with X-wing as a whole is the gap between the top lists and even well constructed 'off meta' lists are very wide. Rebels have a LOT of solid off-meta lists, like Saw VCX, Rebel Synergy, or things involving E-wings. It just never acutally gets quite to the point it can handle anything approaching a 'gatekeeper' list like 4 Fangs. Despite their 'hat' being durability Rebels actually tend to die pretty fast and suffer heavily for losing ships.

There are some gems in the Rebel playbook, but they tend to be overpriced or overly vulnerable to losing ships, which is why I personally think 'Bring basically all the named characters down a bit' is the real solution. We shouldn't prevent say... Garven is better than a Naked Fang (significantly so, by 7 points even!), because he really clearly isn't. He just costs that much because he IS significantly better than a regular X-wing, but those are over-priced and at a points floor. So while they can't drop, the named characters (which, again, are a big part of the Rebel's fictional identity as they are the faction that didn't have a ton of people invented whole cloth to create named pilots and I believe the only faction where literally every named character is canon or EU canon) can, and while that means they are 'undercosted' compared to the Blues, they better reflect their 'real' value without risking creating UUXXX or something else that is silly.

Another option I have floated in the past is the idea of getting 'free upgrade points' on ships that are at their points floor but still need to go down. Points drops serve 3 purposes: Allowing upgrades, allowing you to add more ships, or allowing you to upgrade or improve other ships in the list. A lot of rebel ships can't drop anymore because of the later two, but giving them extra points that don't count towards scoring to put more upgrades on those ships allows them to functionally drop in price without allowing UUXXX or risking creating another BB-beef variant.

Of course, rebels also are in truly, horrific, desperate need of C O N T E N T as their toolbox of the 3 original factions entered 2.0 in the worst spot, and they haven't gotten anything new since... *checks watch* ...ever... Hotshots and aces doesn't count no one uses either K2S-O or Moonsong, or Falc Leia. And content could help (A really strong and obviously undercosted 'heroic like' talent that addresses the natural variance that low mod-low ship count lists create at 1-2 points would really do a lot for the rebels), but I think they still need to look at the named Rebels and figure out what the heck to do with them, and try to actually create a theme for rebels that allows them to know where to start building with them.

Like maybe up the cost of the named B-wings by 2-4 each, and take those points out of Cassian and Leia. The named B-wings are a huge problem in terms of any buffs to literally any rebel upgrades because if you can replace Wedge with any ship that has good firepower and can slot in with the named Bs and Cassian we got double B again. A lot of rebel stuff is at its price to ensure this can't happen, so 'dashing' the B-wings might be the way to go.

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On 9/17/2020 at 11:18 AM, dezzmont said:

Replacing charge based regen with charged based reinforce may be an idea.

Integrated Astromech:

Rebel. 

1 Charge. 

Linked Lock->Red Reinforce

After you perform a Reinforce action, spend 1 charge. After you are dealt a damage card, gain 1 charge. 

You may not perform the Reinforce action while this card's charge is inactive. 

 

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1 hour ago, Bucknife said:

HOPE

Talent: Rebel

2 pt. 

When a friendly ship at range 0-3 is dealt at least 1 damage card, you may gain 1 Evade token or aquire a Lock. 

 

This would need to be limited to once a turn so that it isn't just giving rebels Nora's ability on basically everything to completely tank focus fire, but it isn't as wacky as it seems at first despite it letting an entire list get evades or locks all at once.

After all, it still probably isn't as good as the Fang's method of getting evades for Joust's on a Red Squaddie, but it does now have an offensive benefit if you suspect they aren't going to hit certain ships. Could be tweaked to 'get a calculate or a lock' if the combination of a very strong 'don't focus me bro' ability and a free offensive action if that isn't needed is too good.

Still, it massively solves a Rebel problem where they are just too vulnerable to focus fire to make a lot of sense brawling, and lack dice consistency on offense. Now trying to focus one rebel ship down frees up the rest to really hammer you with a lock. Its like a sefless your enemy controls, kinda, and they could react to how greedy you are with the target locks to suddenly swap targets and punish you. It is actually a SUPER interesting interesting talent, even if obviously the balance might not be perfect right away (Though, again, despite looking spooky its critical to remember this still probably makes Reds just 'worse fang fighters with some mindgame potential'). The interactivity and mindgames on display here are fantastic, I actually love this effect on a conceptual level.

It very forcefully jams its thumb on the scale in regards to why rebel beef can really struggle unless it has a truly ridiculous amount of guarenteed firepower (I mean the last really meta list it had was the two named B-wings, Wedge, and Cassian with a tac officer) and turns the list's weakness of ships just getting blasted down from just a straightforward weakness to a very skill testing interaction that also heavily encourages Rebels to get access to talent slots.

1 hour ago, Bucknife said:

Integrated Astromech:

Rebel. 

1 Charge. 

Linked Lock->Red Reinforce

After you perform a Reinforce action, spend 1 charge. After you are dealt a damage card, gain 1 charge. 

You may not perform the Reinforce action while this card's charge is inactive. 

 

So its a reward for NOT shooting the person with the mech on the turn they trigger it, to negate the benefit? Seems rather strong, but it isn't a terrible design, because in theory if they focus fire one ship on an engage you can't reinforce the next turn and they can just start popping ships before they get a chance to reinforce. So it has some of the 'essence' of R2s being more about keeping the ship up while disengaging without literally being the same.

I dunno. Could go as is at a decent cost, could do with workshopping to make it even more interactive. And it is relatively interactive.

Edited by dezzmont

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19 hours ago, Bucknife said:

All platforms are not created equal....

It's canon. T65s are supposed to be outclassed by many ships. 

The issue at hand is not how to make the Xwing be better, as in, TIE/d good; the issue is, "what would need to change to make this platform a more desirable option in the Rebel competitive arsenal?"

This is a question that deserves some conversation, and I think it's what most people are generally trying to discuss on this thread, even if we aren't sure what those answers are, per se. 

My own personal take leans into new Rebel exclusive content over raw points changes. 

I think we've basically reached the limits of what the 200 point scale on on efficiency scales of 7 factions can handle for a lot of ships and upgrades (current Nantex costing excluded). 

Sure, I'd like to see cheaper upgrades for Rebs and Resistance... because they are toolbox-centric in theme. 

But unfortunately, it's not that simple.

The bit "what would need to change to make this platform a more desirable option in the Rebel competitive arsenal?" unfortunately applies to almost, if not every chassis in the faction. It's hard to make most of their ships work without a points drop (or a whole new set of pilots, with much better abilities), and it's dangerous dropping all the ships points at once, to keep the faction balanced. 

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Thanks, @dezzmont.

I agree about Hope. Just makes sense to me. 

Integrated could be a little whacky, but at least gives Rebs a niche in generic astros and a token type that's thematic and pretty fair as far as tokens go. ....( Aka: it's not providing a blanket statement focus modification).

Edited by Bucknife

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How does this new card from wave 7.5 change our conversation? 

swz68_backward-tailslide.png

To me...this give Old Faithful one more tool to hit and run

Whack something, close foils, Focus, then link red boost to bust through a cloud and snag a free evade token (double modded defense now), 

Then hit the R2 button and grab a shield on your way back... Probably two by the time you're jousting again. 

This would be so busted on Luke if he had a talent slot. 

Best on Overdrive T70s... (2-speed boosts and b.rolls get over things easier), but this card is obviously designed available to T65s, and I wanted to hear everyone's thoughts. 

Is 3 ProTorp+R2+Tailslide T65s going to break into the meta? 

Edited by Bucknife

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I do not see it going meta but this should compete with crackshot modestly. But the full on hit and run would be the strategy. It will not be easy to use since it needs to be non-maneuver movement and the 65 is stuck with the one template for those.

Also it does not seem anything but defensive unless you have a torpedo (and there is a previously discussed issue) since you have to give up a red die to close the s-foils. It goes much better with the 70 and their plethora of secondary options and the overdrive. And they do not necessarily give up a red on primary closed.

Could be fun but doesn't look like a game changer. Seems more like just throwing Rebels a bone. 

Edited by Frimmel

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I dont think its really that great. Your still taking damage from the rock, and odds are you aren’t clearing it, so thats another action-less turn. If its an astroid, you don't get to shoot. I see why they are doing it, and what FFG is trying for, but I think it could gave been executed better. It will probably be 2-4 points, starting at 3?

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3 hours ago, Bucknife said:

This would be so busted on Luke if he had a talent slot. 

It would be cool if we saw a force upgrade that let you equip 1 (maybe 2?) talent cards, but you had to spend a force each time they came into effect. 
 

3 hours ago, Bucknife said:

3 ProTorp+R2+Tailslide T65s going to break into the meta? 

Maybe? 3 Red squadrons with R2, Protorps are 183. If we assume that the tail-slide is gunna be between 2-4 points (probably 3), thats 192. Its worth a shot?

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2 hours ago, Gupa-nupa said:

Maybe? 3 Red squadrons with R2, Protorps are 183. If we assume that the tail-slide is gunna be between 2-4 points (probably 3), thats 192. Its worth a shot?

It may start at 3ish... 

But it should be like Heroic at 1. 

It's a skill-based talent that will proc well at the highest levels of competition. 

It's not nearly as, "turn brain off and point at something for a free damage" as Crack Shot or the like. 

Closed wings requirement hikes up the risk even more. 

This card is an X-Wing only upgrade, and both chassis have suffered for interesting competitive builds almost since launch. 

Tailslide could easily be justified for 1 point. 

Edited by Bucknife

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19 hours ago, underling said:

I agree that 1 point should be about it.

I just don't think it'll trigger more than once or twice per game, if that. 

Crack Shot: bullseye and you're basically guaranteed 1 damage once a game.

Predator: bullseye and you have a 50/50 to roll 1 additional damage as many times as you can pull it off in a game (looking at you, Soontir)...still not guaranteed damage. 

Deadeye Shot: fixed Crack Shot to help 2 die generics still be a threat in the endgame. 

Automated Target Priority: force point for missing... hopefully you're still alive to use it. 

Tailslide: maybe you'll pull it off once or twice a game to snag a free evade token and make yourself a bad target and/or in an unexpected place with guns ready instead of stuck on a rock............ Wait, how do we price this? ("Ahem...it's an X-Wing buff only..)

oh, yeah! This is free everyone. Zero points. 

Please, please, please fly your Red Squadron X-Wings to victory at worlds 2021. 

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