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Focus on Your Objectives - Deckbuilding Article

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Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

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?

 

So if he's FFG are you their biggest competitor?

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I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

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gokubb said:

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

 

True, but in many other TCG's I could give you 80% of the deck by seeing the first card they play. Information overlaod can have a negative effect on you as well. The higher variance in this game means you should probably be more proactive than reactive.

And if more games are won based on play decisions and not deckbuildings decisions, isn't that a good thing?

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They are customizable games for a reason. I love deck building. Coming up with combinations that others have not thought about is as much fun as playing to me. If I merely wanted a playing experience, I'd play a board or video game.

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We already have many, many games that are pick every single card. And really a lot of those devolve to the same card 3 or 4 times depending on the maximum allowed. Something different is nice to see.

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spalanzani said:

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. 

Well, at least someone agrees with something i think.

That was how my probelm started with the dial, besides me not being a dial-person. I just thought it was unnecessary, ugly and i couldn't understand why it wasn't incorporated into the objectives. i would rather have different game-winning objectives than one single ds-dial.

But it is what it is. I will probably use a proxy instead of the dial. Just because.

pic1469264.jpg

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gokubb said:

They are customizable games for a reason. I love deck building. Coming up with combinations that others have not thought about is as much fun as playing to me. If I merely wanted a playing experience, I'd play a board or video game.

 

It's just a new and different set of limitations than previous games. There will still be penty of customizations opportunities to suit those that enjoy deck building, but it's more of a macro approach verus a micro one.

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gokubb said:

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

The thing is, people will get to know what cards do. I play a lot of Warhammer: Invasion with a friend who always plays High Elves - he has never played anything else. I now know exactly what is in his deck, and can build decks with the other five races that counter more or less than what he's going to be up to in the game. With Star Wars, however, yes you'll get to know what cards you'll be coming up against, but your opponent can either use those cards as their intended unit/enhancement/whatever, or in the Edge Battle, so you won't quite know what will happen with those cards, even though you know they're lurking there somewhere. (The same thing can be said of cards in Warhammer being used as developments, of course, but in this case, I know my friend's deck doesn't involve development-exploitation, so it's rather moot). 

The same friend has always played Stark in A Game of Thrones, and always has exactly the same tactic in each game. Knowing what's in your opponent's deck isn't a problem that will be exclusive and unique to Star Wars.

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 So having played this at GenCon, here's my impression.  The sets are thematic and mechanically tied enough to give lots of unity.  That being said, if you don't like having to take Red-Shirt number 4 with your Darth Vader, it's cool because you've got options.  Maybe it has force icons, and so you can use Red-Shirt to edge.  Maybe the force is not strong with the Red-Shirt.  Use it to bluff.  When your opponent has three battles to fight (against each of his three objectives) he's going to be worried about burning his hand too early and not being able to compete later on.  So drop two cards into an edge battle and scare him off.  He doesn't know you just dropped BS.  Or maybe try to shine him on.  Get him to over commit.  Let him win the edge battle 6 vs 0.  See where that leaves him the next combat.  At the beginning of your turn you always draw back up to a full hand, so there is a lot of throwing cards, which gives low power cards lots of use.  Just looking at a nice full hand against you will make you think twice about how you commit to stories.

So don't be so freaked about about FFG trying to give you something new.  Any good card player knows that you can't build a deck of 50 Luke Skywalkers.  FFG knows this, and so they are doing something different.  They are giving us a thematic game, complete with ewoks and that jerky storm trooper who can get bluffed by c3po.

And btw, my game came down to the last round.  11 clicks on the death star dial, 2 imperial locations destroyed, the third heavily damaged.  Yoda killed a Rancor (which was bad ass), but it was an edge battle that won the game.  Some crappy one force- icon dude won me the initiative to make the final kill.

The Red-Shirt won the game.

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houjix1138 said:

gokubb said:

 

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

 

 

 

True, but in many other TCG's I could give you 80% of the deck by seeing the first card they play. Information overlaod can have a negative effect on you as well. The higher variance in this game means you should probably be more proactive than reactive.

And if more games are won based on play decisions and not deckbuildings decisions, isn't that a good thing?

It's a great thing in my opinion. That is one of the factors that cought my attention to this geme. In many older titles like M:tG or CoC you have very limited options for playing cards from your hand. Often you just play the best card you can afford this round without even thinking of it. Almost every player will play the same card from a given hand. Here the situation should look much different thanks to the Edge Battle mechanics and refreshing your hand to 6 cards. Since every card can be used in two different ways (standard play and Edge Battle), and every card used gest replaced the next round the focus is shifted from deck building to actual gameplay. The first 6 objectives the players draw tell them both what kind of battle to expect. They know if they will be defending against a massive fleet invasion or performing a covert op. It's something different than what CCG and LCG players are used to, but I personally don't want yet another game that plays the same but has different graphics. If you don't want to take a risk and create something new it's best you do nothing at all. 

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An aspect of this deck building concept I have not heard much chatter about: your ability to deceive your opponent regarding what sort of deck you are playing

- At the start of the game , your opponent sees three objectives and therefore knows 15 of the cards in your deck.

- Each time a card is played, your opponent knows 4 additinal cards that are in your deck. (perhaps 8 for cards that shared between objectives)

Manipulating these two sources of information for you opponent could put the initiave and timing in your favor

Example: if "The Bespin Exchange" is not an active objective, don't play "Blaster Pistol" because it "might" help in the next conflict. Instead, keep the fact that Boba Fett is in your deck hidden until that critical point where he comes out and helps win you the game (with blaster pistol in hand).

I suppose that as more combos are discovered that this will become more important. If your opponent is not able to deduce that your deck could muster a certain combo, they will not prepare for it. Even better, by carefully showing only certain cards, you can dupe your opponet into thinking that other combinations do exist.

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Thanatopsis said:

 

- Each time a card is played, your opponent knows 4 additinal cards that are in your deck. (perhaps 8 for cards that shared between objectives)

 

 

The fact that even identical cards will have different set numbers does make this somewhat annoying. But I'm willing to see where this additional information will take the game. As cards are played, both players will have access to the same information. To use a flavor example, Darth Vader was fully aware that Luke Skywalker was active in the Rebellion, but it still took the Sith Lord over three years to find him.

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Thanatopsis said:

Example: if "The Bespin Exchange" is not an active objective, don't play "Blaster Pistol" because it "might" help in the next conflict. Instead, keep the fact that Boba Fett is in your deck hidden until that critical point where he comes out and helps win you the game (with blaster pistol in hand).

Well, unless you have Looking for Droids out or Dark Alliance in your hand, it's going to be hard to play that Boba Fett without The Bespin Exchange out. happy.gif

 

 

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houjix1138 said:

Well, unless you have Looking for Droids out or Dark Alliance in your hand, it's going to be hard to play that Boba Fett without The Bespin Exchange out. happy.gif

 

 

Touche!

I picked a wretched example… with the current objective sets there is no resource match available without The Bespin Exchange being in play.

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Thanatopsis said:

houjix1138 said:

Well, unless you have Looking for Droids out or Dark Alliance in your hand, it's going to be hard to play that Boba Fett without The Bespin Exchange out. happy.gif

 

 

Touche!

I picked a wretched example… with the current objective sets there is no resource match available without The Bespin Exchange being in play.

Well, you could use the S&V ID for a guaranteed resource match, but then you're letting your opponent know what you're up to.

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 Conversely, if you're playing a single affiliation, you might choose a card belonging to one of the other two affiliations in order to throw your opponent off. This will become a bigger deal once the factions are more fleshed-out down the road, but you could make your opponent think you're playing a sneaky, methodical Scum & Villainy deck, when your plan is to go right out the door with an Imperial rush.

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I still don't think this is actually going to be a terribly big problem for most people. I mean, it already happens in other card games - I've mentioned in this thread already that I play AGoT and Warhammer, usually playing Targaryen and Chaos in each respective game. And yet I know the card abilities of almost every Stark and High Elf card as well, so when I see my opponent play one card, I know what combo he is setting up or intending to play or whatever, and can play accordingly. This is no different to seeing an objective and knowing what your opponent has in his deck. In fact, unless there is a deeper level of synergy between objectives than I have yet seen, there is a bigger danger in revealing certain AGoT cards because sometimes, from playing just one card I can know there will be anything between four and about twenty other cards that work alongside it, allowing me a greater degree of clairvoyance. For example, if I see Winterfell Kennels come out, I know there will be about thirteen other cards, between one and three copies each, in that deck. There are certainly more than four cards that work in combo with that one card. 

This is, I feel, symptomatic of the unfair criticism that has been levelled, unfairly, at this deckbuilding system from the very start. "You assume too much". For example, let's take The Endor Gambit. Within this pod of five player cards, you have two vehicles, and two cards that benefit vehicles. The objective also benefits vehicles. It also comes with a fate card that is a pretty good bonus to the edge battle. While you may or may not have wanted to include that fate card, it's a pretty good card to have anyway - certainly not something that you would call "crappy". The odds are, if you were including a vehicle or two, you'd want the three other cards to go along with them, anyway. If you're not including vehicles, then there is nothing really in this pod that you would otherwise want to include. The pod becomes a nicely focused little set of cards, and it's not the only one. Every pod that I have seen so far in full has got a nicely-rounded flavour to it. It isn't a case of having one good card and four really bad ones that come with it

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I'm a bit skeptical of how useful such a fake-out strategy could be. I mean, the major complaint against the objective set system is that it forces you to take cards you don't want. Including cards that aren't part of the central engine of your deck, just to potentially gain some small psychological edge, is going to dilute your deck far more than the pod system ever could. I suppose there could be decks that might make such a bluffing strategy work, but I think they would be few and far between. You'll almost always be better off including more cards that actively feed into your deck's mechanics, I just don't think "Haha! You thought this was a Jedi deck, but no! This is a Han deck and now you're screwed!" will be a move you could pull off all that often.

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alpha5099 said:

I'm a bit skeptical of how useful such a fake-out strategy could be. I mean, the major complaint against the objective set system is that it forces you to take cards you don't want. Including cards that aren't part of the central engine of your deck, just to potentially gain some small psychological edge, is going to dilute your deck far more than the pod system ever could. I suppose there could be decks that might make such a bluffing strategy work, but I think they would be few and far between. You'll almost always be better off including more cards that actively feed into your deck's mechanics, I just don't think "Haha! You thought this was a Jedi deck, but no! This is a Han deck and now you're screwed!" will be a move you could pull off all that often.

I tend to agree. I may be totally off-base, but it seems to me that this game will move too fast, and you'll have too much at stake to work on setting up such a bluff. This game really appears to favor players who get their decks working quickly, rather than setting up some elaborate plot. But, I won't say these statements are for sure true. These are just my perceptions. I'll have to play to see how it really works out.

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Budgernaut said:

alpha5099 said:

 

I'm a bit skeptical of how useful such a fake-out strategy could be. I mean, the major complaint against the objective set system is that it forces you to take cards you don't want. Including cards that aren't part of the central engine of your deck, just to potentially gain some small psychological edge, is going to dilute your deck far more than the pod system ever could. I suppose there could be decks that might make such a bluffing strategy work, but I think they would be few and far between. You'll almost always be better off including more cards that actively feed into your deck's mechanics, I just don't think "Haha! You thought this was a Jedi deck, but no! This is a Han deck and now you're screwed!" will be a move you could pull off all that often.

 

 

I tend to agree. I may be totally off-base, but it seems to me that this game will move too fast, and you'll have too much at stake to work on setting up such a bluff. This game really appears to favor players who get their decks working quickly, rather than setting up some elaborate plot. But, I won't say these statements are for sure true. These are just my perceptions. I'll have to play to see how it really works out.

Oh, this game is going to be fast. Maybe a turn or two slower than Warhammer, but you'll see more than 25% of your deck, too.

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It's nice, being able to see a decent cross-section of the deck you spent so much time and effort putting together. With the rapid turnover of cards resulting from the edge battles, I'll be curious to see if playing 11+ objectives becomes a real thing.

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After looking at the low, low force icon count of the imp navy (shouldn't have been surprised, really), going over 10 objectives might not be a horrible idea since you'll be pitching more cards to win edge battles.

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MarthWMaster said:

It's nice, being able to see a decent cross-section of the deck you spent so much time and effort putting together. With the rapid turnover of cards resulting from the edge battles, I'll be curious to see if playing 11+ objectives becomes a real thing.

I personally think it will be, for tournament play. The game is very card intensive, I wouldnt be at all surprised if players went through 5-6 cards of their hand every single turn. There are probably, and will if anything be more in the future, cards that draw cards. Seeing as an exhausted deck is a loss condition, I dont think anyone wants that risk if a game goes to the wire. Also, I think decks could become stronger for it. Yes, a slimmer deck means more chance to draw that one powerful card. A doubled up objective allows double superlasers/devestators/vaders/lukes etc, for when something goes wrong and that essential character dies.

It will be interesting to see what happens, and what becomes the "conventional wisdom".

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Budgernaut said:

alpha5099 said:

 

I'm a bit skeptical of how useful such a fake-out strategy could be. I mean, the major complaint against the objective set system is that it forces you to take cards you don't want. Including cards that aren't part of the central engine of your deck, just to potentially gain some small psychological edge, is going to dilute your deck far more than the pod system ever could. I suppose there could be decks that might make such a bluffing strategy work, but I think they would be few and far between. You'll almost always be better off including more cards that actively feed into your deck's mechanics, I just don't think "Haha! You thought this was a Jedi deck, but no! This is a Han deck and now you're screwed!" will be a move you could pull off all that often.

 

 

I tend to agree. I may be totally off-base, but it seems to me that this game will move too fast, and you'll have too much at stake to work on setting up such a bluff. This game really appears to favor players who get their decks working quickly, rather than setting up some elaborate plot. But, I won't say these statements are for sure true. These are just my perceptions. I'll have to play to see how it really works out.

The speed of this game is something that slightly worries me, I must admit. Hopefully we'll see something like the next Warhammer cycle, which is introducing more intrigue and stuff into the combat phase, hopefully slowing it up and allowing for more set-up pay-off. Although the dark side dial is still there of course. But then it won't be beyond the realms of possibility to imagine seeing cards that slow that up, too.

I'm just musing out loud here…

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spalanzani said:

 Although the dark side dial is still there of course. But then it won't be beyond the realms of possibility to imagine seeing cards that slow that up, too.

With out a doubt since there's already a card that "slows" the dial. 

Decoy at Dantooine - Interrupt: When an objective you control leaves play, decrease the Death Star dial by 1 (to a minimum of 1).

Now that's simply offsetting a triggered advance instead of the standard one, but anything that can slow it down is in the LS favor.  And since it's an interrupt it will even effect when it's destroyed itself.

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