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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Honestly I think Gambit is the problem. The concept of how to win the game is self-defeating. Here's a hypothetical conversation:

Player: So how do I win this game?
Judge: You have to defeat all your opponent's pieces.
Player: What if I can't get to their pieces, like if they lock themselves in a room?
Judge: If that happens, then after X number of rounds without any action taking place, you just add up the points.
Player: And what happens if there is one significant action every 4 rounds.
Judge: Well, there's a time limit.
Player: So I can just get the points lead by killing one piece before time runs out and win rather than fight my full squad versus theirs?
Judge: Well you can, but players can also get points by standing in any of the four squares surrounding the center of the map.
Player: Well I brought a shooter squad, so why would I station my pieces so close to the action?
Judge: Ummm... to score points. To, you know, win.
Player: What if they wait to the last minute to rush one of my higher cost pieces to overtake my lead?
Judge: Ummm.... then they win, but they score less tournament victory points.
Player: So I played the whole game and through no fault of my own, I still lose. And my only option is to place myself in a strategically disadvantaged position and hope they miss all their attacks?
Judge: Ummm... yes, that is correct.


In an ironic twist, WotC once published an article explaining why maps with center chokepoints are bad for a miniatures game. And yet, it is the entire focus of tournament-level play for SWM.


You've started this hypothetical conversation with the wrong victory condition

it should go

Player - how do i win this game
Judge - you score more victory points than the opponent
Player - how do i do that?
Judge - you gain points for defeating the opponents pieces or controlling the center area, once you meet the build total the game ends after that round and you compare scores.

etc, etc.


There are fundemental problems with this game as a competitve tounament game in that one of the most powerful tools is the ability to manipulate doors to avoid detrimental conflict.
Its been known since rebel storm and its strength has been allowed to perpetuate.

Gambit was brought in in order to solve this issue, but it wasn't a solution it just moved things sideways.

The 3 point victory conditions are an improvement as now you are more inclined to choose squads that kill 'em all but it doesn't stop the fact that games with high activations and large amounts of override take longer than an hour. See the championship last year as a result. No suprise that a high activation, override squad won out over the many teams that were designed to kill quickly. Not that Daniel didn't finish some games but i think it was about 3-4 out of 9 that went to time.

When designing this game WotC wanted it to be a quick simple game but they introduced a powerful tactic that actually slowed the game down and prevented conflict. Making override so powerful was a basic error IMO. Tim and I realised it immedeately and its impact is still being felt.

They then introduced a 2nd tactic that slowed the game down even more by messing with the fundemental property of 2 activations per phase. That combined with override perpetuated this.

However, everything comes back to override. Override is the mistake as it prevents combat in a combat oriented game.

You can institute rules and formats to alter a persons intent but the fact of the matter is these things exist because the fundemental gameplay allows it.

If i'm sitting in gambit, gaining points and preventing you gain any, even without combat i'm within my rights, arn't I?
You make a ruling anyother way and your now being subjective, and that really isn't a good way to institute a rule set.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:54 pm 
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To that end, Deri, having new maps like Swamp Caves (Dagobah) on the Restricted List would certainly be nice, as an effort to de-value Override, and door control in general, a little.

But overall, I would agree with your assessment. To some degree though, I've seen plenty of people play squads with high activations, and 3-4 Override pieces, and still finish within an hour. Many times it's a matter of how people play their squads. Entirely too many people play those high activation squads without practicing/thinking ahead of time about how fast they need to activate pieces in order to give them a chance to finish within an hour. They often spend more than a minute deciding where to put an inconsequential Mouse Droid or Commander, when in the end they just end up tapping the thing, or moving into hiding behind a wall.

So, encouraging people to study their maps/squads helps a lot in this regard.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:00 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
To that end, Deri, having new maps like Swamp Caves (Dagobah) on the Restricted List would certainly be nice, as an effort to de-value Override, and door control in general, a little.

So, encouraging people to study their maps/squads helps a lot in this regard.


I tried that, Swamp Caves is the BEST of the completely doorless maps. Not good enough for Restricted.

There are a couple of maps where doors don't factor in as much, but currently thats the best I could do.

I have a layout for a "doorless" map that I am constantly tweaking...maybe one of these days I'll show it to someone.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:25 pm 
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You can't de-value override by putting in maps with no doors.

You could have 10 maps with no doors but It takes ONE map for an ability/synergy to become unbalancing. Thats what 2007, 2008 and 2009 showed.

You might bring a map with no doors and thus not take much override but you get stuck on my map with key doors and its auto loss. In order for override to become mute you need no doors on ALL maps. I don't propose this as a solution its just an example of how the tourney scene, map selection and squad building works in this regard.

The way to devalue override (without altering core rules or errata'ing the ability itself) is to add more satchel charge, more shatterbeam and more abilities that circumvent the prevention of conflict.

Its what WotC should have done as soon as they realised the problem. Adding 3 point uggies was not enough particulally seeing as that was pretty much all they did until the R7 as virtually no other universally available door control piece was playable. Door gimmick might have worked if it enabled you to door gimmick overriden doors but the balked at the prospect (possibly to keep R2 powerful). It needed (needs) far more SAs and characters that can manipulate the doors. The trick is to instill these abilities that allow doors to be relavent (door repair?).


A slow playing player is a different problem and exists in games without this fundemental issue. This issue is down to how you want to play the game, how you see yourself winning and your awareness and attitude to the issue of "the more time you take the less time your opponent has."
The decietful player will play on that issue and add it to his strategy to win. I believe thats on definition of stalling.
A poorly planned player will just not know what to do and get lost in his own thougths. Thats slow play. Not intentional, just annoying. Unfortunately, this is sometimes hard to separate from stalling and subjective in its scope which leaves grey areas in rulings. However, judges should never feel like they can't say
"c'mon guys, your just spinning stuff, speed it up please". A game can always be speeded up.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:29 pm 
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I disagree a little. Doorless or low door maps in enough abundance will devalue Override some. A heavy override squad that abuses a particular map or maps is going to have a harder time when that map set gets played less and less by his opponents and he runs the risk of losing map choice.

Will it totally go away? No. Will it be harder for him to compete? Somewhat, yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Yeah, I wasn't saying to eliminate Override's power completely. But all it takes is 1 map in the list with no doors at all for people to start questioning whether their 8 points is better spent on an R7 or some other fodder instead. If they end up on a doorless (or even door-minimal) map, then that R7 is basically wasted points.

That said, more pieces with things like Satchel Charge and Shatterbeam would certainly be a good way to work around it.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Which the spaarti clone trooper helps in that regard.

Thanks Brad for the early peek at map list (even if it gets changed before it goes final). Playing on some of the new maps (Jabbba's Palace, Swamp caves, Barbie's playland (err peaceful garden), was a blast. Much cooler event with the addition of all the maps.

Back to the squad discussion.

You are right Bill, if a less aggressive player than Lou played it, it would have been some 2 pt victories and no final 4 appearance. Not watching all Lou's games, but in his win against me it was the pure aggression of a defensive squad that caught me offgaurd and the fact that Lou was masterful at spreading the damage around. Near the end, during the key turn he had Obi (20 HP), Bariss (20 HP) and Luminara (50HP) left.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't hit me
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Deri pretty much summed up my thoughts a heckuva lot more elegantly than I could.

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