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Decarior

Thoughts on a strike team change

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In general I like the idea of strike teams and a dedicated sniper unit in particular. However, the play pattern that arise from an abundance of Sniper Teams especially when used as a support to an gunline style army are not always enjoyable. List building is less diverse because Sniper Strike Teams are somewhat of an requirement for many army concepts.  Changing their weapon range to 5 was a good first step but not enough. 

My main problem with them is their resilience - in particular their ability to hide the extra model behind LOS blocking terrain to make them unkillable with a single attack (and always turning on heavy cover).  Together with Medics reviving the lost model and Tactical on ARCs Snipers are simply to effective. 

So what would I propose? Inspired from the Counterpart Rules I'll change the Heavy Weapon Team bullet point from

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If the unit leader of a unit with the heavy weapon team keyword is defeated, replace one of the remaining minis with a heavy weapon mini from an equipped heavy weapon upgrade card.

to

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When the unit suffers wounds, any mini can be assigned any number of those wounds regardless of whether the attacking unit has line of sight to that mini.

Combined with the standard rules that the Leader always dies last that means no more hiding for strike teams. You can always destroy the entire unit in a single attack without the ability of medics to bring them back. Together with their limitation to range 5 as well as Cassian and Iden as natural sniper hunters that could limit their ubiquitous somewhat. Or at least accelerate the Sniper Wars.

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Pretty sure we are getting that strike team change in Q4. I am just not sure what the change will be and how big it will be. I sort of lean to the more drastic options since the meta begins with 2 or 3 strike teams and I sort of hate that. ARCs and the invader league resulsts may have been the last straw............. at least I hope it was.

A few options I have seen fly around (sure they have more, but can't remember them right now):

  • Force players to take the special forces unit in order to take a strike team. An easy way to make people have diverse list if they want a little extra padding.
  • Nurf them into the ground. The last nurf funny enough killed saboteurs, but snipers could use another point increase. Make them expensive enough that people take them as part of a list, not as cheep filler every single game.
  • Rules changed like mentioned above.

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6 minutes ago, RyantheFett said:

Pretty sure we are getting that strike team change in Q4. I am just not sure what the change will be and how big it will be. I sort of lean to the more drastic options since the meta begins with 2 or 3 strike teams and I sort of hate that. ARCs and the invader league resulsts may have been the last straw............. at least I hope it was.

A few options I have seen fly around (sure they have more, but can't remember them right now):

  • Force players to take the special forces unit in order to take a strike team. An easy way to make people have diverse list if they want a little extra padding.
  • Nurf them into the ground. The last nurf funny enough killed saboteurs, but snipers could use another point increase. Make them expensive enough that people take them as part of a list, not as cheep filler every single game.
  • Rules changed like mentioned above.

I'd be in favor of your first and third options. Not sure about just a points increase. I don't think they need to be completely removed from the game, just adjusted so they can't be spammed.

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24 minutes ago, RyantheFett said:

Pretty sure we are getting that strike team change in Q4.

That sounds great (just so we can talk about something else on the forums)

I'm curious where you heard this, or is it just rumor?

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Honestly, for the most part I find Rebels Sniper Strike Teams to be rather underwhelming. In my last Invader League they were the most under-performing units of my entire army and I was playing Jyn - so that should say something. Since you usually have to attack targets in heavy cover even with an aim token they miss 38% of the time. When playing against other Rebels and CIS other than Tauntauns they are is often times a lack of valuable targets since Hereos can be hidden. Against Empire you have to consider that if you can attack with the sniper than it also means that the enemy unit (Shores, DTs...) is only one move away from shooting back at you. Clones are the only match-up I bring snipers for as they are the only counter-play to the standby bubble of doom. If they should ever change standby sharing rules this won't be as necessary anymore.

Also for Rebels they are not as good for activation padding as for other factions because you lack order control. Usually you don't want to pass valuable orders to your snipers, because orders on your critical units like Hereos, Tauntauns etc. are more important.

Might just be my experiences for Rebels though and as I said: even I bring Snipers most of the time. Be it only because of Clone Standbys or to fill out my SFs slot so that pulling the other non-strike team SF is more likely.

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31 minutes ago, buckero0 said:

That sounds great (just so we can talk about something else on the forums)

I'm curious where you heard this, or is it just rumor?

How dare your good sir!!!! If I can't ***** about 11 activation GAR or how trash the airspeeder is what am I suppose to do with my life!?!?!?!!?

Other thread someone said they knew it was a problem. Is it true or not? Who knows, but I took him at his word. I should go dive thought discord and their interviews to check, but we will get our answer in a few months so meh. 

Just seems like the best option that could fix several issues and even change the entire meta with little effort on their part. And if they do nothing then we know FFG likes how strike teams work and they won't change. Either way we will get our answer.....

 

Edited by RyantheFett

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1 hour ago, RyantheFett said:

Pretty sure we are getting that strike team change in Q4. I am just not sure what the change will be and how big it will be. I sort of lean to the more drastic options since the meta begins with 2 or 3 strike teams and I sort of hate that. ARCs and the invader league resulsts may have been the last straw............. at least I hope it was.

A few options I have seen fly around (sure they have more, but can't remember them right now):

  • Force players to take the special forces unit in order to take a strike team. An easy way to make people have diverse list if they want a little extra padding.
  • Nurf them into the ground. The last nurf funny enough killed saboteurs, but snipers could use another point increase. Make them expensive enough that people take them as part of a list, not as cheep filler every single game.
  • Rules changed like mentioned above.

The base strike team should go back in cost to the original value (un-nerf saboteurs), but the sniper upgrade should increase to compensate.

In case of GAR, the base would have to go up because of the named characters.

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So, I'm probably on the other side of these ideas. I think Strike teams are okay, if anything may need a soft nerf with the inclusion of ARCs/turn 0 token gen/fire support/ and other clone specific silliness. 

I don't think strike teams themselves are really functioning all that differently than what was intended. They are low HP units with high range/area weapons all with limited damage output designed to terrain snipe, area deny, and pad activations. I don't think these units are inherently bad because they do fulfill a specific roll in an army and usually perform that roll well. I also think that because of the hard cap on Special Forces units, they don't create an unreasonable level of padding. 

Seems to me naked corps units are used for spam alone more than sniper teams. They cap at 6, you HAVE to take 3, they are generally cheaper, and they can still fulfill objective requirements. 

Maybe, if spam avoidance is the goal, lose the minimum requirement of 3x corps units, raise the cost of each base corps by the cost of 1-2 minis? By removing the requirement of 3 and inflating the cost you free players up to choose whether a 50-60 point naked corps unit is worth it just for an activation, especially since other (typically) more expensive and useful units may be priced in a similar range. (For instance would you rather take a naked storm trooper at 55 points or an E-web?) The counter balance here would be rank caps already in place. Corps would be the least cost efficient unit, but the only one you can take more than 3 of. You can spam corps units still but you sacrifice cost efficiency. 

I think the big issue is it seems this would hurt CIS and GAR more than IMP and REB lists. 


 

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I think that a simple change to cover would greatly effect sniper strike teams. When checking to see if a unit is in cover over half, and not at least half, of the unit would need to be in cover.

This would also be a hit to R2 when taken with 3PO, and tauns.

Edited by DFocke

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2 hours ago, Decarior said:

Honestly, for the most part I find Rebels Sniper Strike Teams to be rather underwhelming. In my last Invader League they were the most under-performing units of my entire army and I was playing Jyn - so that should say something. Since you usually have to attack targets in heavy cover even with an aim token they miss 38% of the time. When playing against other Rebels and CIS other than Tauntauns they are is often times a lack of valuable targets since Hereos can be hidden. Against Empire you have to consider that if you can attack with the sniper than it also means that the enemy unit (Shores, DTs...) is only one move away from shooting back at you. Clones are the only match-up I bring snipers for as they are the only counter-play to the standby bubble of doom. If they should ever change standby sharing rules this won't be as necessary anymore.

I've been saying this since their release.  Everyone says that BW with surge to hit is ~ 5% the same as 2B without the surge. The problem is on the reroll with an AIM, you are much less likely to get anything useful, and sometimes you just need a crit anyway.  I really only take snipers with Rebels if I need more long-range support (in a shooty type list) or I just have 50ish points left in a list and already have my obligatory 3 Trooper Corps filled.

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1 hour ago, Darth Sanguis said:

So, I'm probably on the other side of these ideas. I think Strike teams are okay, if anything may need a soft nerf with the inclusion of ARCs/turn 0 token gen/fire support/ and other clone specific silliness. 

I don't think strike teams themselves are really functioning all that differently than what was intended. They are low HP units with high range/area weapons all with limited damage output designed to terrain snipe, area deny, and pad activations. I don't think these units are inherently bad because they do fulfill a specific roll in an army and usually perform that roll well. I also think that because of the hard cap on Special Forces units, they don't create an unreasonable level of padding. 

Seems to me naked corps units are used for spam alone more than sniper teams. They cap at 6, you HAVE to take 3, they are generally cheaper, and they can still fulfill objective requirements. 

Maybe, if spam avoidance is the goal, lose the minimum requirement of 3x corps units, raise the cost of each base corps by the cost of 1-2 minis? By removing the requirement of 3 and inflating the cost you free players up to choose whether a 50-60 point naked corps unit is worth it just for an activation, especially since other (typically) more expensive and useful units may be priced in a similar range. (For instance would you rather take a naked storm trooper at 55 points or an E-web?) The counter balance here would be rank caps already in place. Corps would be the least cost efficient unit, but the only one you can take more than 3 of. You can spam corps units still but you sacrifice cost efficiency. 

I think the big issue is it seems this would hurt CIS and GAR more than IMP and REB lists. 


 

As you said strike teams are not the only units spamed for activation control. They are the most visible, and I do think they need to be adjusted. You're correct that core units should also be looked at this, but I'd go about it a different way.

I'd like to see a couple of changes to the mandatory core units. I'd make it mandatory for those units to take a heavy weapon, and I'd ban emplacement troopers from being one of the three mandatory core choices. That combined with some kind of nerf to strike teams would help reduce activation spam.

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Ive always liked the idea of making strike teams a detachment so you have to take the parent unit in order to take the strike team. Then upping the special forces allowance from 3 to 4 so you can take two special forces units and two strike teams.

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As you said strike teams are not the only units spamed for activation control.

Correct. Which is why ALL non-corps units that are spammed to increase activation count should be dealt with similarly.

For example, R2D2 should require you to take C3PO. No more 35 point activation BS.

The game should not have activations under 50 points outside of corps units. If they stick to that rule there should never be a problem again.

Quote

You're correct that core units should also be looked at this, but I'd go about it a different way.

Cheap corps units on their own arnt really a problem. The problem is when you can spam both cheap corps units AND cheap non-corps units. So if you just get rid of the cheap non-corps units the corps units become fine.

Edited by Khobai

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1 hour ago, Darth Sanguis said:

I don't think strike teams themselves are really functioning all that differently than what was intended. They are low HP units with high range/area weapons all with limited damage output designed to terrain snipe, area deny, and pad activations. I don't think these units are inherently bad because they do fulfill a specific roll in an army and usually perform that roll well. I also think that because of the hard cap on Special Forces units, they don't create an unreasonable level of padding. 

Seems to me naked corps units are used for spam alone more than sniper teams. They cap at 6, you HAVE to take 3, they are generally cheaper, and they can still fulfill objective requirements. 

Maybe, if spam avoidance is the goal, lose the minimum requirement of 3x corps units, raise the cost of each base corps by the cost of 1-2 minis? By removing the requirement of 3 and inflating the cost you free players up to choose whether a 50-60 point naked corps unit is worth it just for an activation, especially since other (typically) more expensive and useful units may be priced in a similar range. (For instance would you rather take a naked storm trooper at 55 points or an E-web?) The counter balance here would be rank caps already in place. Corps would be the least cost efficient unit, but the only one you can take more than 3 of. You can spam corps units still but you sacrifice cost efficiency. 

I would say strike teams are working correctly, but maybe too well???? The fact that it is required to take 2/3 if you want a meta list shows something is wrong. I like the idea that strike teams are there to pad out crazy expensive list with a cheap filler unit that won't die and can put some pressure. Just seems strange that GAR get the same activation count and lose nothing for so many units.

Really like the idea about getting rid of the requirements of 3 corps! I doubt they will do anything major like that to change the game, but rebellions are built on hope. If anything I wonder if activation count is the real problem. I know Armada 1.5 is giving players with less units a way to pass their turn. And if FFG says they like 3 strike teams in every single list I won't be really upset (as long as they state it and stand by their decision). The system is not bad, I just feel like these factions should be more unique in unit composition and activation count.

40 minutes ago, KarlVonCarstein said:

As you said strike teams are not the only units spamed for activation control. They are the most visible, and I do think they need to be adjusted. You're correct that core units should also be looked at this

Pretty much this! I think it would be cool if every faction had their own unique way to spam activations that did not rely on snipers or corps. Like Rebel spam would be saboteurs, Empire would be bikes/probes, etc. All snipers for all factions just feels............ wrong? Lazy?

 

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7 minutes ago, RyantheFett said:

I know Armada 1.5 is giving players with less units a way to pass their turn.

I think a system like that for Legion combined with blue player being determined by activation count instead of total points would go a long way to alleviating issues with spamming cheap units.  Which is the sort of fix I like best: let people use the units they want to use (and have already bought), but give them a reason to not go full spam.

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They is nothing wrong with Corp units and for all factions but Rebels they play an important role. GAR's economy run on Corp Troopers, CIS take 5-6 B1 most of them with heavy weapons, Imp's run Shoretrooper+Mortar gunlines - the only reason the don't run Stormtroopers anymore is that the Shore T21 trumps all other range 4 weapons. Only Rebels is left behind and that's mostly because the Dodge mechanic and Nimble are somewhat ill conceived, too many Range 4 threats and GAR overwatch shennigans. If some of these issues were to change I see Rebel heavies becoming again more reliable.

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3 hours ago, Lochlan said:

I think a system like that for Legion combined with blue player being determined by activation count instead of total points would go a long way to alleviating issues with spamming cheap units.  Which is the sort of fix I like best: let people use the units they want to use (and have already bought), but give them a reason to not go full spam.

I dont like blue player being determined by number of activations because armies like CIS would be inherently disadvantaged by that. I think its fine being determined by points.

I also think blue player gets way too many advantages Its always seemed kindve unfair that they get so many advantages just because their army was 1-2 less points or whatever.

I would prefer a more balanced approach where both players construct the deck and alternate choosing what cards go into the deck instead of blue player getting to pick all the cards.

Blue player winning ties is enough of an advantage as is.

Edited by Khobai

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Instead of lots of changes, why not just limit 1 strike team to an army. You can still have up to three full squads of special forces, but only 1 strike team.

That would stop the ubiquitous nature of strike teams, but still allow those who want to dedicate the points, to use their purchased Special Forces units. Since the Strike teams’ main function is to be a cheap activation, most armies would no doubt only include 1. And if they do include full units in their army, the high point cost will limit them on the other units that could have been included.
This might even make games faster as there would be fewer activations in most armies. Just a thought.

Edited by JediPartisan

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1 hour ago, costi said:

Bkue player winning a tie is such a rare occurence that it's almost irrelevant.

But with some objectives it allows the blue player to just sit back and play reactively while the red player is forced to take action or lose. That is an enormous advantage.

 

1 hour ago, JediPartisan said:

Instead of lots of changes, why not just limit 1 strike team to an army. You can still have up to three full squads of special forces, but only 1 strike team.

That would stop the ubiquitous nature of strike teams, but still allow those who want to dedicate the points, to use their purchased Special Forces units. Since the Strike teams’ main function is to be a cheap activation, most armies would no doubt only include 1. And if they do include full units in their army, the high point cost will limit them on the other units that could have been included.
This might even make games faster as there would be fewer activations in most armies. Just a thought.


Because a lot of people own 3 strike teams. You will thoroughly piss them off if they cant use the models they bought.

I think players should be able to take as many strike teams as they want but they should be detachments. That forces players to choose between more activations or a more optimized army.

Edited by Khobai

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I feel like snipers are the main problem with strike teams. They should be made unique so each army can only have one. This would cause people to either find another unit or switch to saboteur squads. Three saboteur squads are more difficult to use effectively than snipers and easier to counter which makes them seem more balanced.

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31 minutes ago, Captain Pachu said:

I feel like snipers are the main problem with strike teams. They should be made unique so each army can only have one. This would cause people to either find another unit or switch to saboteur squads. Three saboteur squads are more difficult to use effectively than snipers and easier to counter which makes them seem more balanced.

It would also add value to other sniper units.

Look at things like Iden's sniper, who here hasn't put that away and not picked it up again since trying it out? Of the people I play with four of them bought Iden, only one of them is still toying around with her sniper.

The main complaint is, she is too expensive to be used as just a sniper, and her TL-50 is a lot better, and plays better into her role as an aggressive infiltrating operative.

I do wonder as time progresses if something similar will happen to Echo, where he won't be taken in a strike team because, why would you over another regular sniper? Sniper's don't really need the extra Health or Courage, they rarely get shot at, unless it is other range 5 weapons.

For those who want to know they guy still using her sniper, runs it on a Commander Iden in a semi-gun line, just outside of the range 4 units so she can still issue orders, but is safe from any Clone Boy gun lines herself. In that role it is okay, still a little costly for what you get out of it, but at least she can fire every turn and support her back line.

Edited by Nithorian

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This would give the Empire something other factions can't have with their three snipers (Strike Team, Iden, and Del Meko) to add to differentiating the factions. Iden would be an expensive sniper but it would give the Empire an advantage only the Rebels could somewhat match with Cassian. With the Emperor's help, she can shoot twice making the Empire the faction of choice for long ranged combat.

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40 minutes ago, Captain Pachu said:

This would give the Empire something other factions can't have with their three snipers (Strike Team, Iden, and Del Meko) to add to differentiating the factions. Iden would be an expensive sniper but it would give the Empire an advantage only the Rebels could somewhat match with Cassian. With the Emperor's help, she can shoot twice making the Empire the faction of choice for long ranged combat.

Even if that were true I still think the GAR wins at long range. They could also take two snipers the DC-15X Upgrade and Echo, and there is also Rex's Command Card "Take That Clankers" Which gives his faction a solid pool of Range 4 Dice for a turn. So while the Empire might be more consistent with their range 4/5 plays, the GAR is still hanging on in there.

Let's not forget that if you start taking sources of Pierce off the board, you are basically buffing the GAR, as that is one of the big ways to hurt them, couple that with High Velocity shots and the Clones are dying, no matter how many tokens they are sat on top of. It would also really help the Red Surge to Defence Units like Death Troopers, who I don't think anyone would argue are in need of any help.

Edited by Nithorian

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The DC-15x and Echo are booth range 5 or possibly range 6 with Rex's help for a turn. Iden is infinite range all the time. She has the potential to wipe out an enemy sniper team on the first activation of the first round. I understand what you're saying though. GAR can be an excellent ranged faction if the right units are chosen. They would be the burst range damage faction to the Empire's consistent range damage. Since GAR becomes the Empire it makes sense for the two factions to share a few things. Either way it limits the issue of activation padding with Strike Teams and gets people to find new ways to use the current units.

The loss of units with pierce is a good point though. Lack of pierce does make units with red defense dice a bit stronger. This just means that the dice have a bit more control on the outcome of battles which makes things interesting.

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4 hours ago, Nithorian said:

It would also add value to other sniper units.

Look at things like Iden's sniper, who here hasn't put that away and not picked it up again since trying it out? Of the people I play with four of them bought Iden, only one of them is still toying around with her sniper.

The main complaint is, she is too expensive to be used as just a sniper, and her TL-50 is a lot better, and plays better into her role as an aggressive infiltrating operative.

I do wonder as time progresses if something similar will happen to Echo, where he won't be taken in a strike team because, why would you over another regular sniper? Sniper's don't really need the extra Health or Courage, they rarely get shot at, unless it is other range 5 weapons.

For those who want to know they guy still using her sniper, runs it on a Commander Iden in a semi-gun line, just outside of the range 4 units so she can still issue orders, but is safe from any Clone Boy gun lines herself. In that role it is okay, still a little costly for what you get out of it, but at least she can fire every turn and support her back line.

Echo has better dice (2 red instead of black and red) and reliable 1 as well, these make him quite a bit better than the regular DC-15X and he can go in Corps units as well so i dont think he will stop being used just yet.

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