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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:19 am 
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Counting Bastilla as a commander means that the OR player now has to choose between Malak and Revan if they play the Frosty Con winning squad. Counting the Yammosk as a commander means that the Vong player will have to count on stealing a good CE, because he's sure to use the Lahs and also the Yammosk. It's obvious both of these factions without any restrictions are head and shoulders above the rest, so hamstringing them a little just opens up the field in my opinion. In the case of the Vong I will admit, though, that it will pretty much limit builds to 1 type in that faction.

I was intrigued with the idea of not counting reinforcements. Like Dennis said, there are foils out there that can be played that would keep this in check. Has anyone played it this way yet?

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:12 pm 
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We ran a 7 person 500 pt epic this friday. We had one player play War Cordinator and no-one played Bastilla (that was done to keep things "nice" since it was a new format. What happened was that San Hill really rose to dominate the format. The War Cordinator did help the Vong player but not to where it was a serious issue.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Tempo control and activation control are still hugely powerful, even in Epic play.

Therefore, IMHO, Reinforcements should NOT be allowed. Sure, I'm happy to pay 7pts for override and the ability to activated 6 pieces after my opponent is finished. Lobot is far too powerful in that situation; he virtually becomes an auto-include, which is sad.

Also, as I've always said, in this format the CEs that alter the # of activations in a round should not work. At all. It's not quite as abusive with the 3-CE limit, but it's still quite significant.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:29 pm 
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thereisnotry wrote:
Tempo control and activation control are still hugely powerful, even in Epic play.

Therefore, IMHO, Reinforcements should NOT be allowed. Sure, I'm happy to pay 7pts for override and the ability to activated 6 pieces after my opponent is finished. Lobot is far too powerful in that situation; he virtually becomes an auto-include, which is sad.

Also, as I've always said, in this format the CEs that alter the # of activations in a round should not work. At all. It's not quite as abusive with the 3-CE limit, but it's still quite significant.


San Hill was just brutal, we were playing on the Rebel Fortress map and my opponent was able on each wait for me to make my moves while moving just Mouse droids and got Rex round one, Windu round two. This without even exposing a single figure while I had activations except for Mouse Droids. Really made for a boring game. After doing this same thing for three rounds to the players it really soured them to the format. I can only imagine how much ill will there would have been if I had gone ahead and put Bastilla in the mix. Also in the end San Hill abuse clearly beat War Cordinator abuse...

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:08 pm 
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thereisnotry wrote:
Tempo control and activation control are still hugely powerful, even in Epic play.

Therefore, IMHO, Reinforcements should NOT be allowed. Sure, I'm happy to pay 7pts for override and the ability to activated 6 pieces after my opponent is finished. Lobot is far too powerful in that situation; he virtually becomes an auto-include, which is sad.

Also, as I've always said, in this format the CEs that alter the # of activations in a round should not work. At all. It's not quite as abusive with the 3-CE limit, but it's still quite significant.


I hate to say this, but you need to recognize that this is much less the case in 16 activations than it is in regular play.... Think it through Trever. I know, on the surface it seems obvious, but that's just the first level. So what happens if everyone brings lobot? Ok, everyone plays lobot. Wow, that's 200pts as its been for years, except for the rare occasion where someone just builds the activations into the squad.

Are tempo control more abusive at 200 or at 500? At 200, you can have 23 activations and tempo, and end of round eliminations can end a game outright because a 50+ point piece dying is too much to come back from. 500 is more forgiving. Sure, losing my Boba BH would suck, but at least I still have 440pts to play with. It's actually less of an issue in 500.

I'd suggest to the above comments would more importantly apply to a 200pt tournament, than a 500. I'm sorry one experience was negative. But next time plan for San and you'll find it much better.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:36 pm 
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I'm with TINT on this. No act. control, no init. control, no reinforcements. If I never saw Lobot or Dodonna again in this format, I'd be a happy man lol.


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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:30 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
Are tempo control more abusive at 200 or at 500? At 200, you can have 23 activations and tempo, and end of round eliminations can end a game outright because a 50+ point piece dying is too much to come back from. 500 is more forgiving. Sure, losing my Boba BH would suck, but at least I still have 440pts to play with. It's actually less of an issue in 500.


It's the combination of Tempo Control with the activation limit, especially when Lobot is also in there. It makes 500 points much, much less forgiving. If I'm playing just 16 acts and no tempo and my opponent is playing 16 acts with Lobot and Tempo, so he goes up to 22 acts, I'll have used all my pieces when he's basically just used scrubs (8 of his 22 pieces). He then gets to attack me with 14 really, really strong pieces. You aren't just going to lose your Boba BH. You're going to lose a lot. Damage goes up much faster than defenses do in general, so me hitting you with 450 points worth of activations after you're all done for the round is much worse than me hitting you with 150 points worth of activations.

Basically, no you don't have to worry about a 50+ piece dying. You have to worry about hundreds of points worth of pieces dying, because I have 14 activations left and generally it doesn't take more than 2 or 3 of my pieces to kill 1 of yours. That's 5 or 6 of your 16 activations that will die. That's a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Demosthenes wrote:
I'm with TINT on this. No act. control, no init. control, no reinforcements. If I never saw Lobot or Dodonna again in this format, I'd be a happy man lol.


Don't get me wrong, that's a very fine argument. I'm all for 500 not looking like 200. I just don't accept that tempo control is more powerful with an activation limit.

@Daniel - if you allow Lobot, he will be in every squad, that's a given. So it's always going to be 22 vs 22. But you still have to factor in that you are wasting a commander slot on a totally garbage CE that may or may not help you.

With that said, I don't have a problem with no tempo, no reinforcements. Reserves however should be allowed. I want to see those 500pt reserve squads on the table.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:35 pm 
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Let's ask this question before we get to fussy about all these issues, Is 500pt supposed to be a competitive based game or is it for casual use. If it is for casual then the format needs some drastic clean-up to tone it down a bit. If it is for tournament play then I apologize for any complaints about it not being fun and will basically accept anything brutal that goes on.. Tournaments are for being brutal.. such goes things.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:13 am 
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Once you start putting limits on what can and cannot be played in terms of specific characters, what you are essentially talking about is taking away choices and forcing the meta to fit the way you want it to be played. That's fine as long as this remains a casual format. But ultimately, if it were to become part of the tournament structure, it becomes a model for banning certain figures. Limiting your commanders to 3 is the first step that should be taken because once you start banning characters from the format (ie Lobot, San, Dodonna, etc.), there's no end to the process.

The idea of it was simple - you get to pick any three commanders to bring to the table. If you use one for San, you're giving up something else from the choices of Whorm, GG DAC, Sidious, and if you bring TPM as your epic, now you have to pick one of the other two (since TPM and Sidious are the same guy).

The reason for the 3-commander limit is that, quite simply, commanders when piled together in a larger point squad/army break the game. Even Rob admitted that they never tested the pieces for anything above 100 (and later 200) pts.

I think if you do that first - limit your commanders to 3 - some, most, of the other problems being talked about here will go away on their own. And what Bill said earlier is correct. I was thinking the same thing as I read through it. There's nothing that Daniel said about Lobot that isn't at least as true in the 200 pt. format as it is for this one.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:36 am 
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Billiv15 wrote:
if you allow Lobot, he will be in every squad, that's a given.


Yeah, which is lame. So lets just ban him from this. I really don't think Epic 500 can or should be a competitive format, because the power is just way too wonky. Lets see it for what it is, a fun format. Fun formats can have stuff banned.

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Reserves however should be allowed. I want to see those 500pt reserve squads on the table.


Agreed. Those are also less of a problem since they aren't guaranteed, and the characters are worth points.



audrisampson wrote:
Tournaments are for being brutal


Off topic: That's a new signature quote for me. :)

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:10 am 
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I'm writing from my iPhone so I won't be able to articulate myself as clearly as I'd like, but here we go.

Audri, I wonder if perhaps the problem you experienced was more due to one person bringing a highly competitive squad while the other squads weren't really optimized. Could that be the case? If so (and i wouldn't know) then the issue at hand is really more a question of competitive players and casual players clashing in the same event. Perhaps some people were "in it to win it" while others were enjoying what they thought was a non-competitive format? Just a thought.

Dennis, I agree that we don't want to get on the slippery slope of banning. But what about the Big D in the DD format? That didn't lead to a slippery slope, and it was helpful for the format. The point is that sometimes a tactic or ability has a truly unbalancing impact on the game, and something has to be done to keep the format enjoyable. As I said, I think something needs to be done about Bastila, because she reduces the field to 2 factions in the Epic format. It's not a matter of me (or anyone) wanting to tailor the game to my tastes...it's about wanting to keep the format as open and enjoyable as possible. I think it's a similar thing with tempo control CEs: if San/Dodomna DO actually cripple the meta, then I think they should be removed from the equation.

I think it really comes down to what kind of format we want this to be:
-competitive? Then leave things as they are in every way, and let the meta sort itself out. B&B dominated for a long time and it was no fun, but eventually San dethroned it. It'll happen for this format too eventually.

-casual or not-cutthroat? Then measures need to be taken to ensure that the format retains its open feel, and so that all factions are at least moderately playable. No tactic or piece should have a strangle-hold on the meta. My desire in taking my anti-reinforcements and anti-tempo control stance (btw I'm all for reserves) is for the format to be as open and enjoyable as possible.


Ultimately though, I think that since it's not an official format (a good thing IMHO), it's entirely up to the coodinator to make these decisions. If he/she wants to run an ulta-competitive tourney then he/she will choose the restrictions accordingly...and those restrictions will be different for a less competitive tourney.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Echo wrote:
Fun formats can have stuff banned.


Noting the irony of this statement. Once you start banning stuff, you just have to keep banning stuff because other stuff rises to the top. One of my original squads for Epic (back before Epic cards were even thought of) was a Separatist squad with 4 Lancers and I don't believe I had San as one of my 3 commanders. No one even came close to stopping me with anything they had. Lancers were definitely broken that day.

thereisnotry wrote:
Dennis, I agree that we don't want to get on the slippery slope of banning. But what about the Big D in the DD format? That didn't lead to a slippery slope, and it was helpful for the format. The point is that sometimes a tactic or ability has a truly unbalancing impact on the game, and something has to be done to keep the format enjoyable. As I said, I think something needs to be done about Bastila, because she reduces the field to 2 factions in the Epic format. It's not a matter of me (or anyone) wanting to tailor the game to my tastes...it's about wanting to keep the format as open and enjoyable as possible. I think it's a similar thing with tempo control CEs: if San/Dodomna DO actually cripple the meta, then I think they should be removed from the equation.


I'll try to take this point by point. 1. The Big D in DD. There were mixed views on how to deal with this, and WotC opted to just ban a piece - at the urging of some of us in the community who had a direct line to the powers that were - while the player's team implemented a different approach. With the advent of new characters with the ability, the current ruling works just fine. Personally I'd like to go a step further and errata Disintegration to state:

Disintegration (Whenever this character rolls a natural 20 against an enemy within 6 squares, that enemy takes +40 damage if it is huge or larger. Large or smaller enemies are immediately defeated instead)

I agree that "sometimes a tactic or an ability has a truly unbalancing impact on the game," but I don't agree that Lobot is one of those - at least no more at the 500 pt. level than at the 200 pt. level. I think it's more prudent to flesh out the format with new cards and design choices rather than to try to curtail existing ones. The concept is already there, in its infancy, with things like Wuher and Tyber Zann. Should we ban Tyber as well? He lets me bring Reinforcements. I'd be more concerned about the stacking (so to speak) of unlimited commander effects at the 500 pt. level than I would about one character that lets you bring in more pieces. Which brings me to number 3. Bastila. She does not reduce the format to 2 factions. The decision not to implement special rules that were contemplated for weeks if not months regarding commanders brokenness at large point values limits the format to 3 factions. Without the commander restriction, I am bringing Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Epic Vader and a handful of cheap commanders that I can toss every round for a significant benefit. I have 12-square range on Force Immunity. Heck, I might even throw in TPM for the Force Withdrawal so he can swap around from outside the bubble while I'm at it. My point is that the format isn't played enough to say for certain what the game will look like once it develops. Too many groups are making up their own rules, and the rules change from one week to the next. We need a lot more consistent play and consistent rules to say whether one thing is broken over another. We had that with Epic when the idea was first proposed years ago - 3 commanders, period. Implement that consistently and you will see Bastila fade away the more time passes. It will also have an impact on tempo control commanders, but whether they are indeed a serious problem to be dealt with is something that can only be determined (again) through consistent rules and play concepts. We are nowhere near that point with the format right now.

And that's number 4. "If" (emphasis mine) San/Dodonna DO actually cripple the meta..." as you put it, then yeah I would agree with your solution, and a banned list for Epic would read something like...

The following figures are banned from Epic format:
San Hill
General Dodonna
Lobot
Grand Moff Tarkin
Mandalorian Tactician (The guy from DotF who grants tempo control, not sure about the name)
the Imperial admiral from Legacy of the Force (can't remember his name, either)
Admiral Ozzel
Tyber Zann
Every faction-specific character with the Reinforcements special ability.

But don't stop there. We have other pieces that are crazy awesome in this format, and some of those haven't even been realized yet. The point total build is just too powerful because nothing has ever been tested at that level.

To sum up, all of these suggestions for changes are due to inconsistencies in the way people play this format, and far too premature to be seriously considered until the format is played in a standard method with the standard set of rules concepts. Run a series of events with the 3-commander limit and then we can start to have a realistic, serious discussion about the "problem" issues.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Echo wrote:
Fun formats can have stuff banned.


Noting the irony of this statement. Once you start banning stuff, you just have to keep banning stuff because other stuff rises to the top. One of my original squads for Epic (back before Epic cards were even thought of) was a Separatist squad with 4 Lancers and I don't believe I had San as one of my 3 commanders. No one even came close to stopping me with anything they had. Lancers were definitely broken that day.


I'm not really sure why banning a couple pieces means you have to keep banning stuff. Yeah, there will always be "best" squads in any format, fun or not. The trick is closing the gap between the best stuff and everything else. The gap between OR and Vong and everything else in this format is pretty large. The gap between a squad with Lobot and a squad without Lobot is so big that if you can play Lobot and still get all your Reinforcements above the 16 activations, no one will ever not play Lobot. If you ban a couple things, the gap between "best" and "the rest" becomes smaller. Smaller is better. There might still be a difference, but it's less overwhelming.

I also don't see what was ironic.... Is it because I'm very much against banning stuff in the standard competitive formats? I have very different opinions on how the game (and games in general really) should work in competitive play opposed to casual play. They're vastly different settings, there's no problem with there being different rules.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:13 pm 
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I find the use of the phrase "fun format" and "banned" in the same sentence to be ironic, because the only reason to push consistent bannings that are universally accepted is because the format is not a "fun format," but rather a competitive one.

Don't know how many times I have to type this before it sinks in, either - but the gap between factions is due to inconsistent styles of play from one venue to the next, the lack of effort at building solid squads in the other factions that can compete, and most of all due to a lack of implementation of solid, established rules concepts (ie 3 commander limits).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I find the use of the phrase "fun format" and "banned" in the same sentence to be ironic, because the only reason to push consistent bannings that are universally accepted is because the format is not a "fun format," but rather a competitive one.


Oh, gotcha. I think we have slightly differing definitions of "fun format", then.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Don't know how many times I have to type this before it sinks in, either - but the gap between factions is due to inconsistent styles of play from one venue to the next, the lack of effort at building solid squads in the other factions that can compete, and most of all due to a lack of implementation of solid, established rules concepts (ie 3 commander limits).


I'll say that we play a whole lot of the Epic format here in Atlanta (and have all put in plenty of effort in building in every faction), and we play it pretty consistently (basically the Coolecticon rules every single time), and that gap is still there.

I'll also agree, though, that the only way to have a real discussion about this with everyone on the same page is to have everyone play it the same way for a while, regardless of what that way is. We're all coming into this discussion with radically different experiences just because we have played with totally different sets of rules. That does make the discussion more difficult, but doesn't make anyone wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Echo wrote:
I'll say that we play a whole lot of the Epic format here in Atlanta (and have all put in plenty of effort in building in every faction), and we play it pretty consistently (basically the Coolecticon rules every single time), and that gap is still there.


How do you define "a whole lot?" Also, what kinds of squads are being built? Is it just the best players winning, or is a certain squad(s) that tend to dominate over and over again regardless of who is running it/them? If you are already playing with the "No Reinforcements" rule in effect, how can you honestly say that Lobot is the problem? Sounds like he might be a good counter.

Can you refresh my memory on the Coolecticon rules you are playing by? It's been a while since that tournament.

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I'll also agree, though, that the only way to have a real discussion about this with everyone on the same page is to have everyone play it the same way for a while, regardless of what that way is. We're all coming into this discussion with radically different experiences just because we have played with totally different sets of rules. That does make the discussion more difficult, but doesn't make anyone wrong.


Agreed, no particular person is "wrong," as there is no right or wrong here, for the most part. I think it is fair to say everyone has different wants or preferences based on the style of play they have experienced with the format. It's too much to say, "We'll take the 3-CE limit from Dennis but use Trevor's suggestion to ban Lobot and Dodonna." The approaches - at this stage - are mutually exclusive of one another, in my opinion. (Just using Trevor's comment as an example, there have been other suggestions that are as well.)

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:31 pm 
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thereisnotry wrote:
I'm writing from my iPhone so I won't be able to articulate myself as clearly as I'd like, but here we go.

Audri, I wonder if perhaps the problem you experienced was more due to one person bringing a highly competitive squad while the other squads weren't really optimized. Could that be the case? If so (and i wouldn't know) then the issue at hand is really more a question of competitive players and casual players clashing in the same event. Perhaps some people were "in it to win it" while others were enjoying what they thought was a non-competitive format? Just a thought.

Normally I would say that is the case but it really was not this paticular event. The squads that were played were...
Player - Faction - Epic - Squad idea
Me: Republic - Yoda - Gowk/Windu with Synergy theme and Rex
SvenBlackSunVigo - Seps - Maul - SanHill/Sidious/IG86 and Lancers (winner)
HannahCannon - Imperial - TPM - Force Bubble/Maidens/Huge figure shooters
(The AT-ST took down epic Luke in one turn...)
Sam Gilikison - NR - Mara - GMLuke/NR beatsticks
Kenny Smoot - Rebel - Luke - Force Batteries and Big force powers
Daniel Miller - Rebel - Rancor - Not sure (Miller is our creative player ;) )
WarMasterPig - Vong - Warmaster - Vong beats with lots of CrabArmor (2nd)

While Im sure these squads mostly are not what will make the top tier as this format strengthens I do not think most of the players had any intention of not winning when this this event started. I know on my end I figured a 30+ defense on most of my squad should have been enough, didnt realize what Seps can get their + to hit to be LOL.

Quote:
I think it really comes down to what kind of format we want this to be:
-competitive? Then leave things as they are in every way, and let the meta sort itself out. B&B dominated for a long time and it was no fun, but eventually San dethroned it. It'll happen for this format too eventually.

-casual or not-cutthroat? Then measures need to be taken to ensure that the format retains its open feel, and so that all factions are at least moderately playable. No tactic or piece should have a strangle-hold on the meta. My desire in taking my anti-reinforcements and anti-tempo control stance (btw I'm all for reserves) is for the format to be as open and enjoyable as possible.


That is the big question we need to figure out before even taking on these debates, the answers change whatever way we take them.

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 Post subject: Re: FrostyCon - Epic 500 Squads & Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:41 pm 
Death Star Designers
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Echo wrote:
I'll say that we play a whole lot of the Epic format here in Atlanta (and have all put in plenty of effort in building in every faction), and we play it pretty consistently (basically the Coolecticon rules every single time), and that gap is still there.


How do you define "a whole lot?"


Every other week for the past few months, and every week in the weeks leading up to Coolecticon. So 10-15 tournaments in the past 6 months or so.

Quote:
Also, what kinds of squads are being built? Is it just the best players winning, or is a certain squad(s) that tend to dominate over and over again regardless of who is running it/them?


Tons of different squads are being built from every faction. Rebels have probably seen the least amount of play, but even they have shown up a couple of times. Generally the best players win, but if one of the lesser players play OR they have a much better than average showing. For example, one week I played NR and got beat pretty handily by a kid playing OR. He's been playing for a while, but is very casual about it and doesn't win a whole lot; I can't think of another time he's beaten me off the top of my head, but he might have done so once or twice in the many dozens of times I've played him. I feel that I can say pretty confidently that I'm a better player than him, but he was playing a vastly superior squad.

If one of the best players also happens to be playing one of the better squads (like me or Graham playing OR or Vong), it's very likely that person will go undefeated that day. Including Coolecticon I've played Vong in this format in about 15 games, and my only loss with it has been to Graham who was playing a slightly different Vong squad.

Quote:
If you are already playing with the "No Reinforcements" rule in effect, how can you honestly say that Lobot is the problem? Sounds like he might be a good counter.


I suppose that's true, I'm mostly opposed to it in theory because I've never played with Reinforcements giving you activations over 16. Obviously I'm pretty experienced with the game in general, though, and even Bill agreed with me that if Lobot works that way he would be in every single squad. I don't think he's a "problem" in that he breaks the game, but only because he's Fringe so everyone will play him, and it seems to go against the whole point of the format. Since everyone will play him, it keeps the field inherently level. I'm more opposed to him on a conceptual level than opposed to his effect on gameplay.

Quote:
Can you refresh my memory on the Coolecticon rules you are playing by? It's been a while since that tournament.


3 Commanders max (Yammosk, Jolee, etc. count as commanders)
Minimum 1 Epic
16 Activations max, Reinforcements can be used but cannot allow you to exceed 16 (so you could play a 12 act squad with Lobot and bring in 4 with Reinforcements)
Reserves works as normal
Hour and a half time limit
50 point gambit (that was how much it was at Coolecticon, but that's the one thing we do differently; we play with 25 point Gambit, although we did play with 50 point gambit for a few weeks before Coolecticon. Seems more balanced, but it's not a significant difference either way)

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