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Thoughts on a strike team change

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2 hours ago, Lochlan said:

So here's a crazy idea I just had that I doubt FFG would ever use, but I am interested in what other people think about it.

I have seen people suggest limiting the number of activations allowed in a list (10 is a number I have seen bandied about).  Personally I'm not a fan of that as I feel that would result in very samey lists being the norm.  However, what if activations per round were limited?  So a player could bring a list with 13 activations, but would only be able to activate, say, no more than 10 of them per round.  After the 10th activation any unused order tokens in the bag can't be used at all.  This would also limit how many faceup order tokens could be placed per round to the same limit, to prevent CIS Coordinate chains from dominating.  This would likely drive average activations per list down, but there would still be a reason to take more than whatever the activation limit were (10 seems like a reasonable number?) as a player could lose units without losing activations.  It would also give players with more units than activations an extra reason to take Improvised Orders.

It's not a bad solution, though I'd have to play it out to see what happens after a few rounds of losses.  I'd think you'd still need pass tokens or something similar, but I could be wrong.

One thing I'll add, the order system actually does a fairly decent job of limiting how powerful activation control can be and from early games I suspect that was the intention.  Those limitations evaporate pretty quickly once you have perfect activation control unfortunately.

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13 minutes ago, Khobai said:

thats unfair to CIS though

not all factions are designed around having the same number of activations. some will inherently have more than others and shouldnt be punished for it.

but all factions get 800 points. so points are a fairer metric for determining blue player.

its just blue player currently gets way too many advantages. thats what needs to be fixed IMO.

As an almost exclusively CIS player, in what way, exactly?  Yes, we have the cheapest Corps unit in the game (by a whole 4 points), but until we get the T-Series (which we don't know will be any good), our cheapest Commander is roughly double the cost of anyone else's cheapest Commander.  Our strike teams are cheaper than GARs, but more expensive than everyone else's.  The AAT is actually worth taking (and double AAT has proven to be pretty good).  The best CIS list for a while was 8 activations.  If anything, CIS is better at low activation lists than anyone else.

If anyone is actually penalized by this, it's Rebels (ie. the only faction I've actually seen run 13 activations).

Edited by Lochlan

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1 minute ago, LunarSol said:

It's not a bad solution, though I'd have to play it out to see what happens after a few rounds of losses.  I'd think you'd still need pass tokens or something similar, but I could be wrong.

One thing I'll add, the order system actually does a fairly decent job of limiting how powerful activation control can be and from early games I suspect that was the intention.  Those limitations evaporate pretty quickly once you have perfect activation control unfortunately.

Yeah, I definitely think a pass mechanic would be better, and probably easier to implement.  I was really just interested in what others thought of the idea, so thank you for your input!

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12 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

As an almost exclusively CIS player, in what way, exactly?  Yes, we have the cheapest Corps unit in the game (by a whole 4 points), but until we get the T-Series (which we don't know will be any good), our cheapest Commander is roughly double the cost of anyone else's cheapest Commander.  Our strike teams are cheaper than GARs, but more expensive than everyone else's.  The AAT is actually worth taking (and double AAT has proven to be pretty good).  The best CIS list for a while was 8 activations.  If anything, CIS is better at low activation lists than anyone else.

If anyone is actually penalized by this, it's Rebels (ie. the only faction I've actually seen run 13 activations).

CIS wont always have to use grievous. They will get cheaper commanders eventually.

Similarly GAR wont always have to use rex. They will get more expensive commanders.

CIS will struggle having less activations than GAR if they ever fix GAR to the point where its actually an elite army and not just naked clonetroopers streaking everywhere.

You cant just base everything on how the game is now. You need to future proof the game.

Besides I dont think determining blue player by whoever has less activations even fixes the problem. The problem isnt how blue player is determined. the problem is that blue player gets too big of an advantage over red player. And thats true regardless of whether blue player has 1 less point or 1 less activation.

Especially if a pass mechanic is implemented as well, because then blue player is also getting a pass token on top of all the other advantages of being blue player.

 

Edited by Khobai

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10 minutes ago, Khobai said:

Especially if a pass mechanic is implemented as well, because then blue player is also getting a pass token on top of all the other advantages of being blue player.

Generally when proposing a variety of possible solutions to a problem, the wrong answer is "all of them at once" ;)

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1 minute ago, Khobai said:

CIS wont always have to use grievous. They will get other commanders eventually. You cant just base everything on how the game is now. You need to future proof the game.

 

Yeah, but it's not like Grievous is going anywhere.  It's not like people stopped playing Luke when Leia came out.  

And again, as I'm sure positive you agree, having more activations is an advantage.  So if you have the advantage in activations, this system would mean the other player gets to use their battle deck.  In the current system, a player could have 13 activations and still get to be blue player if they have a larger point bid, even if they were playing against an 8 activation Double the Fall list.

Also, in the current system, if you bid for blue player and get outbid by someone else, you get nothing.  I know you don't like this, as I've seen you say that don't like it.  In the proposed system, the only "bid" is intentionally building a low activation list (or actually leaving unspent points to hopefully win the bid when activations are tied).  If someone has fewer activations than you, that means you will generally have an advantage in scoring objectives, even if its an objective from your opponents battle deck (the one exception to this is if you have a vehicle-heavy list and they have no objectives that can be scored by vehicles, but that's more of an issue with the objective cards in general [easy fix: let vehicles score on Intercept the Transmission—honestly it doesn't make any sense to me that they can't. This would make it so there are 5 objectives on which vehicles can contribute, meaning every battle deck would have to include at least one]).

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16 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

Yeah, I definitely think a pass mechanic would be better, and probably easier to implement.  I was really just interested in what others thought of the idea, so thank you for your input!

I'd be curious to see it play out.   The question is whether it becomes important to have 10+ activations in order to deal with losses and keep to the cap or if after a couple of turns the development of the board state is such that activation control is less critical or even if the cap demands enough loss of efficiency that it evens out mid game.  It seems like a change with an obvious result, but I actually think it would take 2-3 meta cycles to really work itself out.

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22 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

Yeah, but it's not like Grievous is going anywhere.  It's not like people stopped playing Luke when Leia came out.  

And again, as I'm sure positive you agree, having more activations is an advantage.  So if you have the advantage in activations, this system would mean the other player gets to use their battle deck.  In the current system, a player could have 13 activations and still get to be blue player if they have a larger point bid, even if they were playing against an 8 activation Double the Fall list.

Also, in the current system, if you bid for blue player and get outbid by someone else, you get nothing.  I know you don't like this, as I've seen you say that don't like it.  In the proposed system, the only "bid" is intentionally building a low activation list (or actually leaving unspent points to hopefully win the bid when activations are tied).  If someone has fewer activations than you, that means you will generally have an advantage in scoring objectives, even if its an objective from your opponents battle deck (the one exception to this is if you have a vehicle-heavy list and they have no objectives that can be scored by vehicles, but that's more of an issue with the objective cards in general [easy fix: let vehicles score on Intercept the Transmission—honestly it doesn't make any sense to me that they can't. This would make it so there are 5 objectives on which vehicles can contribute, meaning every battle deck would have to include at least one]).

I think Grievous will get dumped when CIS gets a cheaper commander. And I dont mean the tactical droid. I mean a cheaper commander in the 80-90 point range.

Its not quite analogous to Luke and Leia. Rebels rely more on characters because their trooper units arnt so good. The characters stay alive better.

CIS has really good units though. So I think people will opt to take more units with a cheaper commander. Grievous doesnt really play to the strengths of CIS anyway and actually forces you to take HQ uplinks so he can go off and do his own thing. I think a lot of droid players would prefer a cheaper commander that can hang back with the army and has command cards/abilities more geared towards activating and buffing trooper units.

Edited by Khobai

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4 hours ago, Khobai said:

I think Grievous will get dumped when CIS gets a cheaper commander. And I dont mean the tactical droid. I mean a cheaper commander in the 80-90 point range.

Its not quite analogous to Luke and Leia. Rebels rely more on characters because their trooper units arnt so good. The characters stay alive better.

CIS has really good units though. So I think people will opt to take more units with a cheaper commander. Grievous doesnt really play to the strengths of CIS anyway and actually forces you to take HQ uplinks so he can go off and do his own thing. I think a lot of droid players would prefer a cheaper commander that can hang back with the army and has command cards/abilities more geared towards activating and buffing trooper units.

Ive been playing a lot with CIS and I play b1s as meat for my beefy units that deal much higher damage.  So my personal playstyle would have to be re-worked if I were to play the Tac droid as a commander.  I would miss GG's 2 pip really, really bad.  I could care less about his 1 pip tbh.  It is nice, but the 2 pip is what really makes my teams shine.  Getting everything into the range I want to safely dish out the damage during that 2 pip round is my favorite.

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36 minutes ago, thepopemobile100 said:

Would you look at that, another CIS player who quite likes Grievous. What are the odds?

Id say pretty good considering CIS has no better alternative to Grievous. You have no choice but to like him.

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19 minutes ago, ShuckedAeons said:

I see you weren’t around 6 months ago when Dooku was released.

dooku isnt better than grievous though. hes way more expensive.

its hard not to like grievous when your only alternative is dooku.

CIS still needs a decent support commander in the 80-90 point range (I think the tactical droid will be okay but not great). itll be refreshing to not have to use either grievous or dooku. it will open up a lot of list construction options for CIS by freeing up points theyve previously been forced to spend on their commanders.

Edited by Khobai

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10 hours ago, Lochlan said:

So here's a crazy idea I just had that I doubt FFG would ever use, but I am interested in what other people think about it.

I have seen people suggest limiting the number of activations allowed in a list (10 is a number I have seen bandied about).  Personally I'm not a fan of that as I feel that would result in very samey lists being the norm.  However, what if activations per round were limited?  So a player could bring a list with 13 activations, but would only be able to activate, say, no more than 10 of them per round.  After the 10th activation any unused order tokens in the bag can't be used at all.  This would also limit how many faceup order tokens could be placed per round to the same limit, to prevent CIS Coordinate chains from dominating.  This would likely drive average activations per list down, but there would still be a reason to take more than whatever the activation limit were (10 seems like a reasonable number?) as a player could lose units without losing activations.  It would also give players with more units than activations an extra reason to take Improvised Orders.

My only issue is that this would be an unintentional buff to clone trooper token sharing. If no other faction can get a use out of the troops they cannot give orders to (besides objectives), the GAR faction can still share standbys or dodges with the clones that otherwise wouldn't get to do anything that turn, thus getting some use out of units when no other faction would be able to. Also, units like Phase IIs that generate tokens whether or not they activate would get to share those tokens with their army even without getting orders that round.

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I'm a big Dooku fan. Grievous is also solid.

Grievous, IMO makes a better commander of the army with his 2 training slots. You can take Aggressive Tactics to up the efficiency, and have a slot to spare (I prefer Supreme Commander--especially with STAPs, Cad, and or BXs).

Dooku is a bit more fragile, Force Reflexes notwithstanding, so I feel compelled to take Esteemed Leader on him. He's a much better damage dealer/board controller than Grievous, so I tend to push forward with him more and try to zone out an area.

I don't base my HQ uplinks on my commander, but the number of chains I might need to generate per turn. I prefer x HQ-links where x=(number of non-coordinate units)-1.

For instance, I've been running Dooku, 2 BX with blades, 1 BX sniper, 5 B1s. I have 3 non-coordinate units (ignore the leader for this formula), so I need 2 HQ uplinks. That way, when I play a 1 pip, I can coordinate to 2 of 3 BXs and leave the last as the only token in the bag.

Both commanders are great, and it's not Stockholm syndrome.

I am very curious, however, how the faction will look with when a much cheaper commander comes out. For me, it'll just free up points to bring Darth Maul!

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5 hours ago, Khobai said:

dooku isnt better than grievous though. hes way more expensive.

its hard not to like grievous when your only alternative is dooku.

Im sorry what!?

Dooku is a force user with cunning (winning ties on those pivotal 1 pip confrontations), a dope built in ranged attack, master of the force 2, and all 3 of his cards are really solidly good. He can also ignore immune pierce and throws a surge-to-crit all red dice melee attack.

Dooku is absolutely better than Grievious. You pay more for him, sure, but he is really quite good.

Grievious is better on objectives that value mobility (like recover the supplies) but Dooku is better on just about every other one. Just his access to force push and choke/reflexes on every turn (with master of the force 2) makes him better than most other force users in the game.

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7 hours ago, Kirjath08 said:

My only issue is that this would be an unintentional buff to clone trooper token sharing. If no other faction can get a use out of the troops they cannot give orders to (besides objectives), the GAR faction can still share standbys or dodges with the clones that otherwise wouldn't get to do anything that turn, thus getting some use out of units when no other faction would be able to. Also, units like Phase IIs that generate tokens whether or not they activate would get to share those tokens with their army even without getting orders that round.

if you actually took a squad of phase2's just to sit there and generate 1 surge token per turn you have just wasted 60 points in your list, it would be far better to take those 60 points and put them towards heavies and upgrades for your other units,

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If Dooku is so much better than Grievous then why do most players use Grievous? The fact Grievous is much more popular means that most players feel the benefits of using Grievous outweigh the benefits of using Dooku. Dooku costs too many points and is way more fragile than Grievous. Using Grievous and having more activations overall is generally better IMO. And applying that same logic, a cheaper commander in the 80-90 point range, and having even more activations yet, would probably be even better than Grievous. CIS has really good units so having more units is never a bad thing for them.

Quote

If you actually took a squad of phase2's just to sit there and generate 1 surge token per turn you have just wasted 60 points in your list, it would be far better to take those 60 points and put them towards heavies and upgrades for your other units,

Not entirely sure thats true since GAR already takes naked units of phase 1s just to make tokens with them.

The question is whether or not that extra surge token each turn and extra point of courage is worth 8 points to you. 

 

Edited by Khobai

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1 hour ago, 5particus said:

if you actually took a squad of phase2's just to sit there and generate 1 surge token per turn you have just wasted 60 points in your list, it would be far better to take those 60 points and put them towards heavies and upgrades for your other units,

I was only responding to an idea that capped orders per round at 10. So if you happen to bring 11 or more activations, some of them wouldn't get an order that round. Your Phase IIs might not get an order that round for whatever reason, but they'd still generate tokens, which was the issue I was pointing out. I agree that it wouldn't be a good idea to spend that much on something that doesn't do much more than give out one surge token.

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2 hours ago, Khobai said:

If Dooku is so much better than Grievous then why do most players use Grievous? The fact Grievous is much more popular means that most players feel the benefits of using Grievous outweigh the benefits of using Dooku. Dooku costs too many points and is way more fragile than Grievous. Using Grievous and having more activations overall is generally better IMO. And applying that same logic, a cheaper commander in the 80-90 point range, and having even more activations yet, would probably be even better than Grievous. CIS has really good units so having more units is never a bad thing for them.

Not entirely sure thats true since GAR already takes naked units of phase 1s just to make tokens with them.

The question is whether or not that extra surge token each turn and extra point of courage is worth 8 points to you. 

 

I was specifically reffering to the idea that you can only use 10 of your activations per turn and that someone would take a naked phase 2 squad, anyone taking an 11th squad in this case just to generate 1 surge token at the cost of 60 points is wasting points.

 

1 hour ago, Kirjath08 said:

I was only responding to an idea that capped orders per round at 10. So if you happen to bring 11 or more activations, some of them wouldn't get an order that round. Your Phase IIs might not get an order that round for whatever reason, but they'd still generate tokens, which was the issue I was pointing out. I agree that it wouldn't be a good idea to spend that much on something that doesn't do much more than give out one surge token.

the only thing i can think of that would maybe be a good idea is naked troopers in this case just to hold the rear objectives. that is the only situation that i can think of where a unit that is not doing any actions is still useful, spend 1 activation getting them to the objective then focus on the others for the rest of the game,

this idea would have an interesting interaction with suppression that i think would be a bad thing in general.

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49 minutes ago, 5particus said:

this idea would have an interesting interaction with suppression that i think would be a bad thing in general.

I'm assuming you are saying that there could be situations where a unit had a bunch of suppression but never got to activate, so it couldn't potentially roll off suppression or panic because it didn't have a Rally step.

While this is a thing that could happen if nothing else was changed, it would only happen if a player had more than 10 activations and was able to specifically not activate a unit with a lot of suppression.  An easy fix, however, would be to create a rule where, after both players have spent all of their activations, if there are units that have suppression token assigned to them which have not activated, players alternate performing Rally steps with those units. 

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15 minutes ago, Lochlan said:

I'm assuming you are saying that there could be situations where a unit had a bunch of suppression but never got to activate, so it couldn't potentially roll off suppression or panic because it didn't have a Rally step.

While this is a thing that could happen if nothing else was changed, it would only happen if a player had more than 10 activations and was able to specifically not activate a unit with a lot of suppression.  An easy fix, however, would be to create a rule where, after both players have spent all of their activations, if there are units that have suppression token assigned to them which have not activated, players alternate performing Rally steps with those units. 

potentially but we are deep in to theorectical territory here

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