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Focus on Your Objectives - Deckbuilding Article

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AshesFall said:

 The "negative/neutral" opinion, or for that matter the positive opinion, of the local playerbase is an oddly contagious thing. If one player starts expressing his strong negative to his friends, pretty soon that negativity is echoed back from disparate groups in the area. The same happens when one or two players start expressing very positive opinions. Experiment sometime with starting one of these chains and see what happens :)

Aside from that little musing, I have the opposite experience from my crowd. A lot of them seem to like the deck building concept, they like that the sets are themed and carry a natural "feel" to the deck, they like that there are fewer choices and that it is a lot quicker to build decks.

 

 

This, especially when very few or no one in the group has had a chance to actually play the game, let alone deckbuild. 

All but one person in my core gaming group has had a chance to demo the game and we all had a good time playing it. Most of us are hard core card gamers and have no problem with the deckbuilding. We have tons of card games where we deckbuild normally, this one seems like a refreshing change of pace.

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

I love what they're trying to do with the objectives/sets.

To bad i can't feel the same way about everything else surrounding this game.

 

What dont you like about it? I ask this with all well meaning and out of curiosity, I simply dont really understand what's not to like. :)

The art is Awesome, there will be a lot of opportunity to build thematic and interesting decks. The light side has three ways to win (so far), destroying the death star itself with an action card and attacks, attacking the heart of the empire and destroying it, or damaging the empire through destroying three objectives. 

The gameplay itself seems interesting, your base resources are already in play (objectives), those selfsame objectives give strategic options in themselves. The battle systems seem interesting with three types of "action icons" already on the characters to allow different strategies and tactics, edge battles for uncertainty, strategy and card cycling, other abilities, events, fate effects and so on. 

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AshesFall said:

 

Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

 

I love what they're trying to do with the objectives/sets.

To bad i can't feel the same way about everything else surrounding this game.

 

 

 

What dont you like about it? I ask this with all well meaning and out of curiosity, I simply dont really understand what's not to like. :)

The art is Awesome, there will be a lot of opportunity to build thematic and interesting decks. The light side has three ways to win (so far), destroying the death star itself with an action card and attacks, attacking the heart of the empire and destroying it, or damaging the empire through destroying three objectives. 

The gameplay itself seems interesting, your base resources are already in play (objectives), those selfsame objectives give strategic options in themselves. The battle systems seem interesting with three types of "action icons" already on the characters to allow different strategies and tactics, edge battles for uncertainty, strategy and card cycling, other abilities, events, fate effects and so on. 

 

 

 

Yeah, the art is fantastic, i'll give you that. Almost makes me want to buy it only for the Leia card.

Still, i'm not sold about the objectives themself (i love the set/deckbuilding), they feel a bit flat to be honest. The DS dial is also something that bothers me, i would rather the dial be incorporated into the objectives. What i have seen so far i'm not really digging the gameplay with space/land battles and the force, it just feels a bit generic.

And as ******* pointed out, yes ofcourse it's to early to say if the game is good/Bad, it's not out yet. Going by that logic this forum would be pretty silent until release. I also know how hard it would be to make a SW game that would please all Star Wars fans… still, from what i have seen so far this is how i feel about the game in this stage of development.

 

My biggest concern is the DS-dial to be honest. It's pretty blah.

[ADMIN: Edited for content. Keep the discourse civil.]

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

 

Yeah, the art is fantastic, i'll give you that. Almost makes me want to buy it only for the Leia card.

Still, i'm not sold about the objectives themself (i love the set/deckbuilding), they feel a bit flat to be honest. The DS dial is also something that bothers me, i would rather the dial be incorporated into the objectives. What i have seen so far i'm not really digging the gameplay with space/land battles and the force, it just feels a bit generic.

And as ******* pointed out, yes ofcourse it's to early to say if the game is good/Bad, it's not out yet. Going by that logic this forum would be pretty silent until release. I also know how hard it would be to make a SW game that would please all Star Wars fans… still, from what i have seen so far this is how i feel about the game in this stage of development.

 

My biggest concern is the DS-dial to be honest. It's pretty blah.

[ADMIN: Edited for content. Keep the discourse civil.]

 

 

I can certainly understand your concern about the DS dial. It's one of the things I was/am a little hesitant about as well, it does feel a little weird with asymetrical victory conditions, where one side can wait out the clock doesnt it? :)

It's growing on me since the deck building preview though. I'm generally for everything that allows more options, theme and strategies in the game. The preview got me thinking about all the fun stuff they can do with the DS dial. Cards to slow it down, cards that stop it's advance with an objective placed on it that the empire must destroy before it can get moving again. The trench run as already seen in the preview. Maybe the empire can get a card they can play on it to give it an enhancement destroying laser attack once the dial rises to a certain number. The possibilities are very large both for added theme and strategy. And I like that a lot :).

I also suspect that with the right decks and feeling you can get a hectic struggle towards the end of the game. The empire is down two objectives with two turns left, can the rebels pull off those last attacks while the empire struggles to dominate the force (weighing the possibility of loosing a powerful character to defend with on the last turn because of the double focus on a comitted character) and marshal his defenses to hasten the end of the game and defend his objective?

These are my thoughts after turning the issue over for a good while in my head. :)

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AshesFall said:

I can certainly understand your concern about the DS dial. It's one of the things I was/am a little hesitant about as well, it does feel a little weird with asymetrical victory conditions, where one side can wait out the clock doesnt it? :)

It's growing on me since the deck building preview though. I'm generally for everything that allows more options, theme and strategies in the game. The preview got me thinking about all the fun stuff they can do with the DS dial. Cards to slow it down, cards that stop it's advance with an objective placed on it that the empire must destroy before it can get moving again. The trench run as already seen in the preview. Maybe the empire can get a card they can play on it to give it an enhancement destroying laser attack once the dial rises to a certain number. The possibilities are very large both for added theme and strategy. And I like that a lot :).

I also suspect that with the right decks and feeling you can get a hectic struggle towards the end of the game. The empire is down two objectives with two turns left, can the rebels pull off those last attacks while the empire struggles to dominate the force (weighing the possibility of loosing a powerful character to defend with on the last turn because of the double focus on a comitted character) and marshal his defenses to hasten the end of the game and defend his objective?

These are my thoughts after turning the issue over for a good while in my head. :)

 

Indeed.

If the game would only consist of the core game would have no problem with the DS-dial.

It's just i think it will hinder gameplay/theme in the future whenthe game gets larger and has more expansions. With the dial the game will force you to play basically sneaky rebels vs menacing empire. Not that i have anything against that per se, i just would like to have the option not to play it so. By having the DS-dial as an objective-type instead it would still have everything you said above but with the option to not have it (if you would want yo play bounty hunter etc). Having asymetrical winning conditions in a otherwise symetrical game just feels… odd.

Also, i like how they said that the DS-dial was just an abstraction of the dark sides influence and not really the death star, yet here we have cards like trench run treating it like it's the death star.

and sorry for the namecalling TS.

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Would the dial be looked upon more favourably if it were called a "Dark Side Dial" rather than a "Death Star Dial"? I feel the choice of its name has led to most of the bad feeling against it. I think I heard or read that the dial represents the growing power of the Dark Side, after all, rather than the building site that created the Death Star, so while the game isn't always going to be about taking out the bad guys' superweapon but about stopping the spread of evil, it will always feel something like the Battle of Yavin happening time after time after time. Showing the spread of evil could perhaps have been done better, but the abstract way of counting up to a set goal seems to be about standard for other games, after all. 

But it's called the Death Star dial, and it looks like a Death Star. So I guess we'll just have to live with it. 

Personally, I am still really over-excited for this game. It isn't the game I was hoping for, but the game that has been shown to me in the previews thus far has got me really very excited. I play all of FFG's LCGs except Netrunner, and enjoy them all, but there seems to be something different about this one. Whether it'll be "truly groundbreaking" as they promised back in February will remain to be seen, of course, but the fact that it feels very different so far is definitely going in its favour. There will, I think, be a lot more to it than just trying to destroy your enemy's cards, that these discussions about the deckbuilding will fade into the background. 

Or, at least, I hope they do…

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

 

Indeed.

If the game would only consist of the core game would have no problem with the DS-dial.

It's just i think it will hinder gameplay/theme in the future whenthe game gets larger and has more expansions. With the dial the game will force you to play basically sneaky rebels vs menacing empire. Not that i have anything against that per se, i just would like to have the option not to play it so. By having the DS-dial as an objective-type instead it would still have everything you said above but with the option to not have it (if you would want yo play bounty hunter etc). Having asymetrical winning conditions in a otherwise symetrical game just feels… odd.

Also, i like how they said that the DS-dial was just an abstraction of the dark sides influence and not really the death star, yet here we have cards like trench run treating it like it's the death star.

and sorry for the namecalling TS.

These are some good points I think. I believe that we will stay with the "original triology" for quite a long time in this game, with the different episodes being the "main release sets". For the first triology, I think the death star dial itself will work well. For an episode IV theme the trench run attack card works well, for an epidode five theme they may do something different with the dial, other cards and so on.

Perhaps they will introduce entirely other mechanics and alternatives with later sets, when moving beyond the original triology? We'll just have to wait and see. :)

For now however, I am conviced that the basic set (I.e. episode IV, with the coming monthly packs to flesh out the episode IV block) is very nicely done theme wise. I'll definetly support the game through this first cycle and have fun with it with my friends. After this cycle, we'll see what they come up with and reevaluate. Perhaps it's best to approach this game on a "per cycle" basis? Just thinking out loud here. :)

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I am remaining cautiously optimistic for this one and will buy at least the core set. I own every core set except for Cthulhu anyway. However I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings as well and yet really do not like that game at all and do not play or bought anything beyond the one core set. I am a Star Wars nut and look forward to a Star Wars game and am remaining open to like or dislike it. So far I like what I have seen but will need to give the rules a good overview soon as they are out to really decide.

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Well. Good and bad. For me the combined space, land, lighsabre etc fight is something that let me down, when one evok can destroy super star destroyer.. well that is easy to understand, but rancor killing a star destroyer is really much harder… It is all about making the game rules more easier, but it eats the feeling of being out there.

The deck building system seems to be ok. The art is fine. The rest, have to see the real thing before those…

 

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I'm willing to deal with a minor bit of abstraction of theme if it facilitates a more streamlined gameplay.  I loved the old Decipher version, but there were situations in that that, while not as ridiculous as a Rancor vs a ISD, definitely pulled you out of the moment.  I remember one of my last tournaments playing against a deck that was trying to blow up the shield generator on Endor, but also included Pod Racing.  Having units be basically universal will keep the player interactions high.

As far as the Death Star dial, the Death Star represented the ultimate power in the universe. The dial is the Darkside's ultimate power in this game, representing the inevitability that the Rebels are trying to avoid. If this game sticks to mainly original trilogy and beyond, the dial being a Death Star isn't the worst thing in the world. I'm also willing to bet that Disney somehow brings a Death Star into the new movies.

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AshesFall said:

 

 

These are some good points I think. I believe that we will stay with the "original triology" for quite a long time in this game, with the different episodes being the "main release sets". For the first triology, I think the death star dial itself will work well. For an episode IV theme the trench run attack card works well, for an epidode five theme they may do something different with the dial, other cards and so on.

Perhaps they will introduce entirely other mechanics and alternatives with later sets, when moving beyond the original triology? We'll just have to wait and see. :)

For now however, I am conviced that the basic set (I.e. episode IV, with the coming monthly packs to flesh out the episode IV block) is very nicely done theme wise. I'll definetly support the game through this first cycle and have fun with it with my friends. After this cycle, we'll see what they come up with and reevaluate. Perhaps it's best to approach this game on a "per cycle" basis? Just thinking out loud here. :)


Yes… But why have the dial in the first place? If you would replace the dial with an objective that works like the dial you would still have the same mechanic but could choose not to use said mechanic. It would also make it easier to expand and make the game more customizable.

I feel like a parrot repeating myself but dials aint for me.


 And bringing a Death Star to the new trilogy is the worst idea ever. Bringing it back in Return of the Jedi was bad enough.

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

Yes… But why have the dial in the first place? If you would replace the dial with an objective that works like the dial you would still have the same mechanic but could choose not to use said mechanic. It would also make it easier to expand and make the game more customizable.

Its a game timer. They want the game to conclude within a reasonable amount of time. With no impetus, games can devolve into stalemates, where players are either unwilling, or unable to do anything. Does this provide any unfair advantage to the Dark side, perhaps. However, since we hardly know any of the cards, it's hard to discern how much of an advantage this really is.

I'm willing to see more on how the game plays before I declare the DSD as the worst idea in the history of card games.

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

Yes… But why have the dial in the first place? If you would replace the dial with an objective that works like the dial you would still have the same mechanic but could choose not to use said mechanic. It would also make it easier to expand and make the game more customizable.

They could choose not to use the mechanic now too. Just like with every rule in games like this they can make a card that will bend or break them at their will. 

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I don't mind the dial. Its just a thematic representation of an imposed interactive time limit. They obviously felt they needed it in the game to prevent extremely long matches. I can see this being especially important when you have to play two games (one as light, one as dark) in a tournament round.

And, the objective set deck building makes sense. I'm not 100% on board with it, but they are trying to shake things up a little bit and make the game more accessible to casual players. I think this does that, and while it does hinder the hard-core deck builder, it still leaves enough decision points to give a good builder advantage over a poor one.

My biggest problem with what we've seen so far continues to be with the gameplay. As others have stated, its so generic. I might as well be playing cowboys vs indians, axis vs allies, or any other opposing factions. Tap (focus) a card, spend a resource, play an event. Its Magic/VS/GoT/etc all over again. They just call it different names and hope the intellectual property makes up for it. Which, I must admit, it does. I won't touch Magic, but if someone came out with a balanced Star Wars game that played identical to it, I'd play it. And, the starship vs character interaction is just flat out lazy. The designers should have done better in that regard (unless things have changed since the previews).

But, in short, its Star Wars, so I'll give it a shot. Even lackluster game mechanics can be overlooked if it does a successful job of making me feel like I'm in the Star Wars universe.

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 Well there is a pretty big difference between focusing a card in SWLCG and tapping in magic. You can get multiple focus tokens on your card in SW, taking many rounds or special abilities to remove them all and be able to use the card again. 

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houjix1138 said:

 

 

Its a game timer. They want the game to conclude within a reasonable amount of time. With no impetus, games can devolve into stalemates, where players are either unwilling, or unable to do anything. Does this provide any unfair advantage to the Dark side, perhaps. However, since we hardly know any of the cards, it's hard to discern how much of an advantage this really is.

I'm willing to see more on how the game plays before I declare the DSD as the worst idea in the history of card games.

 

 

 

Maybe i'm not making myself clear but how does making the dial into an objective take away the gametimer aspect?

 It's the concept of the dial i'm against, not what it represent.

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I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.

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gokubb said:

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

I guess it is a matter of opinion then, because in play they might both be ways to denote a cards use but how  and to the extent they are used it is very different.

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gokubb said:

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.

 

Sure it can, just make it an obligatory objective that you have to start with. Make it powerful with some less powerful cards that go with it.

I would have prefered that the objectives themself were more dynamic instead of the stale resource-cards we got now. Mixing in winning conditions with the objectives would make more sense.

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

 

gokubb said:

 

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.

 

 

 

Sure it can, just make it an obligatory objective that you have to start with. Make it powerful with some less powerful cards that go with it.

I would have prefered that the objectives themself were more dynamic instead of the stale resource-cards we got now. Mixing in winning conditions with the objectives would make more sense.

 

 

You're not the first one I've heard complain about the objectives being stale, resource-generators, but I disagree. From the cards previewed at GenCon, it seems that most of the objectives have some kind of ability attached to them and they can be pretty powerful. Mission Briefing lets you draw a card at the end of your turn, which is great since your hand will be smaller at the end of your turn if you chose to battle and played a lot of cards in the edge battle. Mission Briefing will give you an extra card that may or may not have a lot of force icons, but it will make your opponent think twice about what to commit to the edge battle on their turn.

Mobilize the Squadrons is a great card for resource acceleration since it lets you remove a focus token from an objective or enhancement. Say you focused a 2-resource objective, (if I remember correctly) it takes two focus tokens, so you can't focus it again for 2 rounds. If Mobilize the Squadrons is in play, you cut that down to one turn.

What's even cooler to me is that because your objectives are random, each time you play the same deck, it could be completely different because of the choices you make based on your objectives' effects. For example, if you got Mobilize the Squadrons, you may play more toward getting units on the table because you can afford them, whereas if you had Mission Briefing, you may play more to maximizing the attack power of the few units you have by trying harder to win the edge battles.

It's so exciting!!!!

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Budgernaut said:

 

You're not the first one I've heard complain about the objectives being stale, resource-generators, but I disagree. From the cards previewed at GenCon, it seems that most of the objectives have some kind of ability attached to them and they can be pretty powerful. Mission Briefing lets you draw a card at the end of your turn, which is great since your hand will be smaller at the end of your turn if you chose to battle and played a lot of cards in the edge battle. Mission Briefing will give you an extra card that may or may not have a lot of force icons, but it will make your opponent think twice about what to commit to the edge battle on their turn.

Mobilize the Squadrons is a great card for resource acceleration since it lets you remove a focus token from an objective or enhancement. Say you focused a 2-resource objective, (if I remember correctly) it takes two focus tokens, so you can't focus it again for 2 rounds. If Mobilize the Squadrons is in play, you cut that down to one turn.

What's even cooler to me is that because your objectives are random, each time you play the same deck, it could be completely different because of the choices you make based on your objectives' effects. For example, if you got Mobilize the Squadrons, you may play more toward getting units on the table because you can afford them, whereas if you had Mission Briefing, you may play more to maximizing the attack power of the few units you have by trying harder to win the edge battles.

It's so exciting!!!!

 

 

 

FFG… is that you?

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I still don't see why you don't like the Death Star Dial, other than it being "meh", or whatever. Is it because you want a game to go on forever until you have beaten all of the cards in your opponent's deck? So many other card games can be like this, though. I think putting a timer on the game works well because the films are, primarily, the conflict between Rebels and Imperials (whether on a personal scale or a more grand sweep), and the Rebels always have to do something before the Empire will win, be it blowing up Death Stars or escaping planets. It's all about the race against time. Showing the timer as a Death Star is about as cheesy as most of the dialogue in the films, anyway, so it does seem to fit in that respect. 

I do hope the objective cards become something more than they are currently. This has been hashed out already, of course, but having objectives that you can complete would be a major step forward in my view, and I do have some hope that the game will evolve to include this soon. Quests in Warhammer Invasion were pretty bland things at first, but have since evolved to be cards that you want to interact with etc, so I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility for the future. 

I just think FFG are making this a straightforward game to appeal to the widest demographic possible. And they'd be stupid not to, really. 

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 As a long time casual gamer ( I play a lot but do not go to any events) I must say I like the deckbuilding mechanic very much. I think it's great that reconstructing the deck between friednly maches will take 5 minutes and not 30. It should make the game much more thematic. I already want to try out several concepts just for the fun of it, like: Darth Vader leading an attack of 501 legion stormtroopers or a fleet of all best pilots and fastest ships the rebel alliance could find in the outer rim. I hope that the objective set mechanic will make such decks effective in an actual play.

The Death Star Dial doesn't bother me at all. hanks to it the rebels will not have time to build a great force that matches the Empires forces. They will have to make due with what they have. The light side player will have to take risks and attack. That combined with edge battles mechanic should provide an interesting situation: Rebels have to attack, have to win edge battles not to get crushed by the Empire so they must use up powerfull cards for force points. Rebels do not have time to build the strike force they would want. Desperate times…

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