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 Post subject: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:12 pm 
The One True Sith Lord
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Have we gotten to a point where there is basically only one faction that is highly competitive at 150?

It seems the Rebels have become the ultimate power in the 150 universe. Their low cost tech/commander effects have made them the most powerful faction in 150. Is this a good thing? Do you miss the days of it being hard work to make the Rebels effective in the compeitive game?

It seems the Rebels have basically the same commander effects as the New Republic but the slight difference and cost and the fact that some of their commander effects are allies versus commanders make them the thing to play in 150. When you couple this with the maps out there that are admittedly abusable what else do you expect to work at 150.

It seems this close to gencon that everyone has gravitated towards playing the Rebels with Luke Snowspeeder and the rest of the gang. It leaves others wondering what can catch the snowspeeder. So is this a good thing? Are we at the point that 150 is becoming less than ideal for a championship? Just wondering if anyone else has any opinions on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:20 pm 
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No, I don't believe that it has become Rebels only. What I do believe is that with the advent of Teth Courtyard, we have supplanted GOWK with Luke's Snowspeeder in terms of what must be built around. (Instead of using the SS to defeat all but one piece - GOWK - and then run away for 40 minutes, now we have a piece that the goal is to hide where it can't reach and wait it out. There are multiple other similarities in the issue, but this is the one that stands out the most IMO.)

The person who said the meta would be just as restrictive post-GOWK if he were banned was right, but at the time it probably was an incorrect statement. Teth Courtyard made it true, and no one could have predicted that.

Does that mean I think GOWK should be unbanned? No. Then we have a situation where two characters are dominating to the point that you pick one of them and hope for the best.

I don't want to see any more pieces banned. I think we are just going to have to ride this one out, get through GenCon, and hope that GaW and Dark Times starts to change the game. If not, then maybe the design team can come up with something for the set after Dark Times. Remember, Rob tends to work a year ahead, so unless he saw the potential abusiveness in Teth Courtyard and GOWK, there's little chance WotC is going to be able to do anything about it for a full year.

General Rieekan's CE should have never been made. He should have been given something else that didn't allow players to stall the game with legitimate tactics.
And IMO the Twilek Black Sun Vigo should never have been made at all. "Followers within 6 squares gain Greater Mobile Attack" would have been smarter, rather than tying it to pieces (and via Rieekan, specific factions) with the "counter" ability to GMA/Extra Attack/Twin Attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Just a point of clarification, Boris. It's Teth Monastery that's the problem, not Teth Courtyard. I know that's what you mean, just don't want to confuse people.

I do think that to some degree we are in a situation somewhat similar to GenCon 2007, it's just that many of us are aware of it ahead of time. In '07, the threat of Mustafar and Geonosis was present, but I think that based on the pieces that were available at the time, those maps were possibly not as abusive as Teth Courtyard or Taris. At least with Mustafar, both sides were typically disadvantaged, with neither having an easy way to do anything on the map. Teth and Taris are a bit different in that respect, allowing protected movement to within 12 squares of gambit.

So, no, I don't think the Rebels are the problem. Yes, they have access to the best suite of abilities at this time through cheap pieces like Rieekan, R2, Juno, etc. No other faction can combine that sort of tech so cheaply. Now of course, at 150 points, you still sacrifice power for tech if you decide to build that way, so it can still hurt you. Disruptive is not helpful in every match, which often leaves Juno shooting blindly at Mouse Droids.

I still firmly believe that Separatist San squads, and several NR Variants are solidly competitive, as well as a few other things that have started to creep up. The problem is: the maps. Teth and Taris make it nearly impossible for some of those other squads to compete, with the Vong being the greatest impact of that. Granted, they have a dickens of a time catching the Snowspeeder, but at least on other maps, you can close the gap easier, and hope for a big init win, rather than having to cross a shooting gallery just to get to the opponent. Again, similar to my matches with my San squad in the Vassal tourney a week ago. I managed to win map in both games, and went 1-1, though the loss was extremely close, and I likely would've won if he'd had one more round of combat, or if I'd played a tad more aggressive with Lobot. But I firmly believe that was because I won the 50/50 map roll. Had I been forced to play on Teth Monastery, I would have been at an extreme disadvantage in both games then.

I've said it other places, but I'm still somewhat surprised that Jim didn't propose a restricted map list for the Championships again this year as he did last year. I thought that worked wonderfully, and it served to level the playing field a little. The Rebel and/or Snowspeeder squads are still VERY competitive on many of the other maps (as Billiv15 and MtMagus showed last year), but not as abusive as they can be on Teth, etc.

Now, of course, there's also the chance with talk like this, that the opposite could happen. People will build to beat the Snowspeeder squads. And just like GOWK, not anybody can just plop down the SS and win games. I think the SS actually requires quite a bit more skill than GOWK did. So, to some degree, I'm not sure it will make as much of a splash as some might fear, and it's one of the reasons why I seriously consider other builds. Hope to win map roll against the Speeder squads, and if not, hope you're not playing someone of high skill level who can really play the SS well.

All said and done though, I'm not convinced yet that the Rebels are "too powerful". I think on the majority of the maps, things are fairly even. Most of the Rebel pieces have lower defenses, and lower attack values than many of the other factions. Yes, they have access to a lot of tech, but they are way more reliant on solid dice rolls than some of the other competitive squads. And that is what keeps them in check on the balanced maps, IMO. It's the maps like Teth, Taris, and Muun Commerce Plaza that allow the Rebels to abuse that tech to it's fullest, and I think that is the heart of the problem, not necessarily the Rebels themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:11 pm 
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Rebels are tough as brass balls at 150.

They were tough in the presence of GOWK, nothing has changed.

The addition of Teth didn't make this so. Taris, starship and munnalinst commerce plaza all make the Evading snowspeeder with high activations and opportunist accurate shot support the top dog.

The speeder is the team to beat at Gen Con. Everyman and his dog will play it. Its tactics are sound, the team has many advantages and preparing for it is very difficult without unbalancing itself against other squads. One of the best counters is, infact, rebel itself. After that its the droid destroyers and Jawa scavengers that are vulnerable due to low HP.

I don't agree that you couldn't see this coming. Something always rises to the top in competitve play.

As a side point, i don't think its the only viable threat but due to the maps and its playstyle i stands great chances against anything.

Whether it is worth changing the championship to a differnent point total is a tough question. At 200 points games rarely finish when they are at their most competitive.

I think its probably time to have a look at where the competitive game is these days and how they are won. Many teams can keep the pace with gambit because of its accessibility and effectively turtle, forcing the opponents into heavy fire.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:21 pm 
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I think Lobo is right. Again. :)

I think the biggest problem is the maps. Muun Commerce Plaza, Teth Monastery, and Taris Undercity should all be restricted from the Gencon Championships maplist. In fact, I'd be happy if they made that decision even as late as today.

The Rebels are good, no doubt. And yes, this is a FAR different Rebel faction, both in style and content, than we had before A&E. Up until then, the Rebels needed a large amount of Fringe supplements in order to make a competitive squad...but ever since then, Rebels have been highly competitive.

But as Aaron said, they have their weaknesses. I have yet to find a solid Rebel melee beatstick, other than Shaak Ti JM. The rest of them are far too weak; am I forgetting one? And so the Rebels focus on their biggest asset: crazy tech-boosted shooters. Super-evade is a pain in the neck, as is super-high defense enemies (ala GGDAC droids). Rebels are totally beatable. It's just because of certain maps which are legal right now, that Rebels are more dominant than they should be.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:43 pm 
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QFT fingersandteeth's entire post, particularly the bit about Teth Monastery.

Teth adds some Override options which can help when delaying is useful, but it's not that big a deal with all the other completely open options which do the job fine. Cannons dominate all these maps and I expect Gencon will be little different with or without Teth Monastery. There's some merit in thinking about a "change-up" map given that people are likely practicing furiously on TM, much like how DrDivot used Geonosis to such great effect when everyone else (myself included) went with the more obvious Mustafar.

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I have yet to find a solid Rebel melee beatstick, other than Shaak Ti JM. The rest of them are far too weak; am I forgetting one?


Next best bet at a moderate cost is Kota with his nice 23 Def. Borderline though. And then at 70, L&Y of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Hello, long time listener, first time caller to the Meta show. This will be my first GENCON and I have been preparing diligently since spring with the afforementioned speeder squad. My idea behind this squad was I wanted comfort of squad play vs learning something new (especially in the GOWK/Anit GOWK world). I feel as though that now GOWK is gone I have no idea what to face or fear (other than the mirror). What I do think is that Dodonna/San will make a huge splash at the tournys. I will have a great time meeting all of you, but am not looking to the actual games at all. I fear most matches in 150 will be 15-5 time limit games spending most of the time trying to kill off free Lobot fodder with Evade for 3-4 rounds in a Dodonna off and then time. :( Sure map is a problem, but so is the tempo control. I love this game, but honestly I am already looking forward to never playing this squad again and playing for fun in the realm of WPN play. You may have to learn DCI to play in the champs, but in no way do I think the DCI floor rules are the best way to play SWminis.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:10 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Just a point of clarification, Boris. It's Teth Monastery that's the problem, not Teth Courtyard. I know that's what you mean, just don't want to confuse people.


Monastery, Courtyard, meh yeah - they both suck. :P

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I do think that to some degree we are in a situation somewhat similar to GenCon 2007, it's just that many of us are aware of it ahead of time. In '07, the threat of Mustafar and Geonosis was present, but I think that based on the pieces that were available at the time, those maps were possibly not as abusive as Teth Courtyard or Taris. At least with Mustafar, both sides were typically disadvantaged, with neither having an easy way to do anything on the map. Teth and Taris are a bit different in that respect, allowing protected movement to within 12 squares of gambit.


From what I have seen on the Teth map - and I admit I have never seen Snowspeeder played on Taris so I cannot comment on that (I only know one person locally who uses the Snowspeeder and I always win map roll when I face him - woot), but its basically a game of the Snowspeeder running all the way up to Gambit, then dropping back at the start of the next round. Once it gets that 5-point bonus, you MUST move out of the room, and you're in a bottleneck.

But you don't want them inside the building, and you outside, because the squad has double, possibly triple Override. Even if you blow up the outer door, you still have 2-3 other doors to contend with, and the Snowspeeder can come all the way to the middle alcove area and still get away without taking any significant amount of damage.

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So, no, I don't think the Rebels are the problem. Yes, they have access to the best suite of abilities at this time through cheap pieces like Rieekan, R2, Juno, etc. No other faction can combine that sort of tech so cheaply. Now of course, at 150 points, you still sacrifice power for tech if you decide to build that way, so it can still hurt you. Disruptive is not helpful in every match, which often leaves Juno shooting blindly at Mouse Droids.


Disruptive has nothing at all to do with the issue. If you think that Disruptive is the problem, then you haven't really faced a solid Rebel build with Luke's SS and Gen. Rieekan.

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I still firmly believe that Separatist San squads, and several NR Variants are solidly competitive, as well as a few other things that have started to creep up. The problem is: the maps. Teth and Taris make it nearly impossible for some of those other squads to compete, with the Vong being the greatest impact of that. Granted, they have a dickens of a time catching the Snowspeeder, but at least on other maps, you can close the gap easier, and hope for a big init win, rather than having to cross a shooting gallery just to get to the opponent. Again, similar to my matches with my San squad in the Vassal tourney a week ago. I managed to win map in both games, and went 1-1, though the loss was extremely close, and I likely would've won if he'd had one more round of combat, or if I'd played a tad more aggressive with Lobot. But I firmly believe that was because I won the 50/50 map roll. Had I been forced to play on Teth Monastery, I would have been at an extreme disadvantage in both games then.


We keep coming back to the maps being the problem, but I maintain that if Rob and his design team had been paying attention to what maps are being designed and what they looked like, we wouldn't have gotten some of the problem pieces that we have. There is plenty of "blame" to go around with this issue.

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I've said it other places, but I'm still somewhat surprised that Jim didn't propose a restricted map list for the Championships again this year as he did last year.


In all fairness to Jim, there are several reasons he didn't propose that. For one thing, the rotating map schedule was my idea, and it evolved into a restricted map list. We both ended up with some egg on our face when we didn't know the Hoth Outpost map was going to be legal, and the whole restricted list thing was not as popular with most people as it appears to be with you. So this year we agreed that we would try to stay more aware of what was being done with DCI, and getting to know Dean and Tanner better since GenCon has provided better communication on that issue as a side benefit to the good friendships that have been built up.

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All said and done though, I'm not convinced yet that the Rebels are "too powerful". I think on the majority of the maps, things are fairly even. Most of the Rebel pieces have lower defenses, and lower attack values than many of the other factions. Yes, they have access to a lot of tech, but they are way more reliant on solid dice rolls than some of the other competitive squads. And that is what keeps them in check on the balanced maps, IMO. It's the maps like Teth, Taris, and Muun Commerce Plaza that allow the Rebels to abuse that tech to it's fullest, and I think that is the heart of the problem, not necessarily the Rebels themselves.


IMO there are four problem figures for the game: General Rieekan, Twilek Black Sun Vigo, Czerka Scientist, IG Lancer.

Period.

And the map problems are amplified, possibly even created, by the imbalance these pieces have caused in the game, particularly at 150.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:14 pm 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
I don't agree that you couldn't see this coming. Something always rises to the top in competitve play.


There's a significant difference between something "rising to the top" and something creating a serious imbalance in the game.
GOWK crossed the line, Luke's Snowspeeder + Rieekan + Teth/Taris operates just this side of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Boba52 wrote:
I fear most matches in 150 will be 15-5 time limit games spending most of the time trying to kill off free Lobot fodder with Evade for 3-4 rounds in a Dodonna off and then time. :( Sure map is a problem, but so is the tempo control.


I've said this last year, and in between, and leading up to the regionals...and I'll say it again. Tempo control has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on how fast you should play a game. Had to explain the same thing to somebody at the LGS just a couple weeks ago who only played 3 rounds in an hour and tried to say "Well, we were both using San/Dodonna, so it was going slow." Activating 1 piece at a time, or 2 pieces at a time should make absolutely no difference to how fast the game goes. I played San at the last 2 Championships, and out of 17 games there, I think only 3 or 4 of those actually went to time.

We all hear about the "15-5" types of games, but the only one of those that I'm actually aware of, was the Bill vs. Wedge stand-off on Mustafar, that went something like 18 rounds.

Tempo control is NOT an issue in how the games play out, or what the scores are. Yes, it can mean that games often come down to a "Dodonna off" lol. But someone is always going to activate first, and someone else is always going to activate last. Eventually, it will come down to who wins the lucky init in those situations.

This is what I fear the most on maps like Teth, Taris, etc. or any of the mirror matches between heavy shooter squads. One person makes a couple lucky Evade rolls, and then gains a 3 point lead by killing an Ugo. Then maps like Teth make it impossible for the team that is now behind in points, to safely advance on the enemy. It turns it into a suicide run, where you're basically banking on your opponent rolling really badly while you run across.

It's strange to hear myself saying this, but I start to lean more and more towards Bill's suggestion that pieces brought into the squad via Reinforcements cannot collect Gambit. IMO, that's what ends up tipping the scales in the favor of one squad over another. Not always, but in many match-ups, that is the case.

I could certainly see many mirror matches coming down to who is able to out-think or predict what Reinforcements an opponent will bring in, and then counter accordingly.

NickName wrote:
Teth adds some Override options which can help when delaying is useful, but it's not that big a deal with all the other completely open options which do the job fine. Cannons dominate all these maps and I expect Gencon will be little different with or without Teth Monastery. There's some merit in thinking about a "change-up" map given that people are likely practicing furiously on TM, much like how DrDivot used Geonosis to such great effect when everyone else (myself included) went with the more obvious Mustafar.


Oh, I definitely don't think that Teth is the only problem. It's ALL of the wide-open maps. It's one of the things that makes me more and more sad that WOTC wasn't interested in Chris two latest maps (just blows my mind). These wide open maps practically hand the game to the shooter squads in shooter vs. melee match-ups. And in the case of the high-speed pieces like the Snowspeeder, it gives them an impressive amount of power as well, because they aren't slowed down while crossing the map by having to navigate obstacles or other features of the map. At least on some maps like Ruined Base, Bespin, Throne Room, etc., there are ways to protect your pieces, advance towards gambit, and gain some points that way, forcing the opponent to come to you. There's no safe way to pull that off on those open maps. Best case scenario, you manage to out-activate the shooter squads, move something out in the open, then win init the following round and run that piece back to protect it. That's a decent number of "ifs" though, and it's what makes those maps so problematic, IMO.

Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Disruptive has nothing at all to do with the issue. If you think that Disruptive is the problem, then you haven't really faced a solid Rebel build with Luke's SS and Gen. Rieekan.


No, I wasn't saying Disruptive was an issue for the Rebel builds. I was just illustrating how the Rebels can still suffer from putting too much Tech in the squad, and not enough power. Juno is a great piece against some opponents. But against some squads, she's worthless, if the opponent has no CEs to counter, so she ends up being a scrub shooter, but not necessarily a very good one at that. All I was saying is that each Rebel squad has to deal with the question of whether they run tech pieces like Juno, or they use other more offensive pieces, or use some other tech piece like R2-D2. With the Rebels, it's always a tech vs. power thing. With factions like the Sith, there's not as much tech in the lower point ranges, so you're pretty much always adding power pieces, with 1, maybe 2 tech pieces at most. In Tim's squad from the Chicago Regionals, he had 5 tech pieces, and only 2 offensive pieces. That's where I was saying is the main difference with the Rebel faction. Even NR, which is the most similar there, is typically limited to 3 tech pieces at most (Wedge, Dodonna, TBSV/Jag, lately).

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Building to beat the Snowspeeder is easy (especially if it can't repair). I'd say it's easier than building to beat GOWK (even with the bad map selection). The trick is being able to handle a Snowspeeder squad on an open map *and* being able to handle everything else that you might run into...

Here are my ideas on the Rebel faction as it stands now, I think it adds to this conversation, but if not, just ignore me. :)

I think Rebels are lacking in good 20-30 point pieces. And as a whole, the Rebels have low HP, Attack, and Damage output. Rieekan helps with the low HP, and Princess Leia helps with the low Attack and Damage output.

Rebel squads are almost always a bunch of cheap tech (20 points or less), and 1-2 bigger threats. You pick your big piece (Loda, Landspeeder, Snowspeeder, Han Scoundrel, Shaak, VAR, Kota, Luke CotF?, Obi?), then add in all the Rebel tech mainstays (Rieekan, Dodonna, Leia, Juno/Madine for Disruptive, ERC/R2 for Override). If your big piece was cheap enough, you can stick in one of the very few decent 20-30 point pieces (Han Smuggler, Luke HPU, one of the Chewies?).

Usually, the mid-cost character isn't enough to beat the other squad by itself, so you end up with almost all Rebel squads being about protecting one central mini, that needs to survive long enough to defeat 75-80% of the opposing squad, otherwise, you're stuck with a bunch of weak tech, or single attacking shooters.

I think the faction would be better with some more threats in the 20-30 point range. You should be able to use multiple figs in that range, instead of one of the 40+ point characters, but it's tough to do that now. You can use the good Fringe from that point range (Dash, Jarael, Jolee, Juhani, etc.), but most of them need an Attack boost (something the Rebels aren't very good at), and they don't work well with Princess Leia (who is the Rebel's faction-defining piece, and should be in almost all competitive Rebel squads, like R2 is for the Republic).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:53 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Tempo control is NOT an issue in how the games play out, or what the scores are.


While you obviously have more experience than me in this area, what I am trying to say is not that the tempo control makes your games go to time, but it keeps you (well me anyway) from playing squads without it in high level competition. For example, part of the reason I never played GOWK was that I felt I wasn't skilled enough a player to overcome being outactivated by such a large margin playing Republic. NR/Rebel squads with Riekkan and Wedge (especially now Leia enhanced) have so much survivability now that I spend every round attacking, but by the time I get through the zero point fodder and get to something with points time is usually called and you win or lose by a very narrow margin. I've come to realize I am a Vong trapped inside a Rebel's body just to be able to play competitively at 150 using DCI. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Boba52 wrote:
LoboStele wrote:
Tempo control is NOT an issue in how the games play out, or what the scores are.


While you obviously have more experience than me in this area, what I am trying to say is not that the tempo control makes your games go to time, but it keeps you (well me anyway) from playing squads without it in high level competition. For example, part of the reason I never played GOWK was that I felt I wasn't skilled enough a player to overcome being outactivated by such a large margin playing Republic. NR/Rebel squads with Riekkan and Wedge (especially now Leia enhanced) have so much survivability now that I spend every round attacking, but by the time I get through the zero point fodder and get to something with points time is usually called and you win or lose by a very narrow margin. I've come to realize I am a Vong trapped inside a Rebel's body just to be able to play competitively at 150 using DCI. :P


Haha

Yeah, I know where you're coming from. You just have to learn that in those types of match-ups, you play as fast as possible, and whittle down the opponent's activations. If they are going to play slow, but not move any significant pieces, and never give you shots except against Leia/Wedge boosted Ugos, then call over the judge to make sure they aren't playing slow.

I fully intend to keep the judges involved this year. It's become more and more apparent to me that the intent of the SWM game is to FINISH the skirmish within the 1 hour time limit. Not play to see who gets the most # of points. It's kind of why I wish we could come up with a system that penalizes people for having games that go to time, or when players only get 20 points of kills before the clock runs out. But there are legitimately some games where they really are that much of a stalemate, even without stalling or slow play. Or at least, one of the tie-breakers be based on how many victory points you gained throughout the various rounds of play. That would encourage people to not just win, but to win with large numbers of points under their belt.

Anyways, it's usually pretty obvious within the first or second round if your opponent is playing fast enough and with the intent to actually finish the game within the 1 hour time limit. If they don't seem to be doing that...call the judge.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:11 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
We all hear about the "15-5" types of games, but the only one of those that I'm actually aware of, was the Bill vs. Wedge stand-off on Mustafar, that went something like 18 rounds.


You haven't been reading my tournament reports then. :)
When one player has tempo control but the other player doesn't, if the non-tempo player has the lead there's a tendency to position a hell of a lot more carefully to keep from losing that lead due to some stupid mistake that comes through activating all of the characters on one side while the other has 4-6 more to go.

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Tempo control is NOT an issue in how the games play out, or what the scores are. Yes, it can mean that games often come down to a "Dodonna off" lol. But someone is always going to activate first, and someone else is always going to activate last. Eventually, it will come down to who wins the lucky init in those situations.


I think all high-competitive games come down to the results of a single dice roll, but to explain that position would take another thesis and I don't just feel like writing another one this month. :P

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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Disruptive has nothing at all to do with the issue. If you think that Disruptive is the problem, then you haven't really faced a solid Rebel build with Luke's SS and Gen. Rieekan.


No, I wasn't saying Disruptive was an issue for the Rebel builds. I was just illustrating how the Rebels can still suffer from putting too much Tech in the squad, and not enough power. Juno is a great piece against some opponents. But against some squads, she's worthless, if the opponent has no CEs to counter, so she ends up being a scrub shooter, but not necessarily a very good one at that. All I was saying is that each Rebel squad has to deal with the question of whether they run tech pieces like Juno, or they use other more offensive pieces, or use some other tech piece like R2-D2. With the Rebels, it's always a tech vs. power thing. With factions like the Sith, there's not as much tech in the lower point ranges, so you're pretty much always adding power pieces, with 1, maybe 2 tech pieces at most. In Tim's squad from the Chicago Regionals, he had 5 tech pieces, and only 2 offensive pieces. That's where I was saying is the main difference with the Rebel faction. Even NR, which is the most similar there, is typically limited to 3 tech pieces at most (Wedge, Dodonna, TBSV/Jag, lately).


Ah, gotcha. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:12 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
It's strange to hear myself saying this, but I start to lean more and more towards Bill's suggestion that pieces brought into the squad via Reinforcements cannot collect Gambit. IMO, that's what ends up tipping the scales in the favor of one squad over another. Not always, but in many match-ups, that is the case.


Yes, a convert!!!! In addition to my (not really mine, but I will be proposing it) map proposal, will also be a discussion on reinforcements scoring victory points again. I might have a couple of other suggestions to add to the list, like I did in 2007 (if you all remember that thread) before the thing is over.

I really think it's time that reinforcements are used for more than simply out activating your opponent and gaining cheap late round gambit points. It's high time people were pushed to pick something else for more interesting games. I think Gencon will show how important this change would be.

Its an abusive tactic, pure and simple. If you don't believe that, then I doubt you have really seen it. In certain games, on certain maps, it pretty much determines the entire game will be played on your terms. So much so, that opponent's will be doing ridiculous stuff to overcome what a 3 pt freebie has just accomplished by running 12 squares at the end of a round..... At the very least that little guy needs to be worth some points to kill if it can gain 5 for doing nothing but being a part of lobot and a squad with higher activations than its opponent.

The Rebel issue right now, is one that was forseen, by most of us, Teth and before that Taris and new Muun included. Not much we can do about it at the moment. Dean could only ruffle so many feathers with the DCI update, and banning Taris, Muun, and leaving Rattattack and Teth off the list together with banning GOWK probably would have had people calling for his head. Only so many things you can realistically tackle at once.

The biggest problem with them, are the maps. I understand that isn't the only issue, but you need to recognize this. The current Speeder squads, with Reeikan, Leia, Dodonna, Juno and Lobot are too tech heavy to be the top dog in most metas. Take away their maps, and they are still powerful, but much more beatable. Right now, there isn't much else at 150 that can deal with it all fast enough, but that should be short lived. Rebels are the first faction in history that can actually spend this many points on tech and commanders, and still be competitive at 150, that is the reality of the moment, and it's a direct function of the maps that are legal.

I will say more post-Gencon about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:23 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Yeah, I know where you're coming from. You just have to learn that in those types of match-ups, you play as fast as possible, and whittle down the opponent's activations. If they are going to play slow, but not move any significant pieces, and never give you shots except against Leia/Wedge boosted Ugos, then call over the judge to make sure they aren't playing slow.


I'm not sure what you expect a judge to do.
I can spin my Ugs in 0.2 seconds, and that is not slow play.

If you continually miss attacks and/or I roll successful damage Evasion saves enough times in the first 30-40 minutes that I am able to prevent you from scoring any significant amount of points, well that is not slow play.

When you have no choice but to move to the center of the map in a last-ditch effort to clear the point lead hurdle, but I shoot your gambit-getter down and then you are forced to rush the map to get to me because getting bonus Gambit isn't working, well that is not slow play.

When I have 11 activations and you have 9, and I have twice as many phases as you do, and you are forced to meticulously consider every move because you can't go back when you're sixth phase is over and I have four or five more to go, who is playing slow then?

All of those things are issues I have had to deal with and I am sad to say they didn't occur at any convention tournaments either. I have dealt with REAL slow play at convention tournament and I know how it occurs, and none of the examples above were really slow play issues.

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I fully intend to keep the judges involved this year.


Again let me reiterate: I don't really know what you expect a judge to do. Issue a caution? There are going to be 80 or so players in the room. The judge and his assistant(s) cannot babysit two or three specific games. Believe me, I've had to do that before, and when there are four other hands in the air from people calling, "JUDGE," well you can't hold up every game for stuff like this. It sucks but it is the reality.

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It's become more and more apparent to me that the intent of the SWM game is to FINISH the skirmish within the 1 hour time limit. Not play to see who gets the most # of points. It's kind of why I wish we could come up with a system that penalizes people for having games that go to time


Whom do you penalize? The player who brought Dodonna, Lobot, Rieekan, Boba Fett BH and Ugs xX and spun his Ugs fast, or the guy with 7 figs who had to check every LOS position before ending a character's turn because he was 5 phases from when Boba would go?

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Anyways, it's usually pretty obvious within the first or second round if your opponent is playing fast enough and with the intent to actually finish the game within the 1 hour time limit. If they don't seem to be doing that...call the judge.


I guess this is my point, and I think its Boba52's point too. It's not slow play in the illegal, traditional sense of the word. It's stalling tactics that are allowed and permissible BY DESIGN.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Yes, a convert!!!!


Ah, but look at this...

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It's become more and more apparent to me that the intent of the SWM game is to FINISH the skirmish within the 1 hour time limit. Not play to see who gets the most # of points. It's kind of why I wish we could come up with a system that penalizes people for having games that go to time, or when players only get 20 points of kills before the clock runs out.


Between Aaron buying into my longstanding time issue, Dean saying he'll be enforcing slow play warnings per my longstanding requests, and you buying into my longstanding map suggesting you are all slowly being corrupted by me. :P (Except Dennis, who seems as incorruptable as a block of carbonite. ;))

The reinforcements thing doesn't both me as much because the solution only solves 10% of the problem rather than 90%. As someone mentioned above, the major problem is running out at the end of a round and getting the 5-0 lead even if you lose init and the fig gets sniped. Well, 5-3 doesn't change that problem at all.

And what does/can/will is having a map that prevents this 5-0 lead from being an insurmountable obstacle forcing you into a suicide run across the entire length of the map.

So while I'm not necessarily opposed to it, it's mostly inconsequential to me and in such cases I'd rather leave the status quo intact. Smallest/easiest change with the biggest impact and all that...

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:27 pm 
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NickName wrote:
(Except Dennis, who seems as incorruptable as a block of carbonite. ;))


I know you are joking around, but you're right, I'm just not on board with some of the stuff being tossed around these days. I see a lot of deja vu with this stuff, and it's why I quit playing Magic with anyone but my wife and a few other friends. I rarely play tournaments with that game, and absolutely never at conventions.

It saddens me to realize I am starting to feel the same way about SWM. The only way the local people play 99% of the time IS tournaments, and I don't care for the game in that fashion - not given the path of disconnect that has occurred. A couple of people I play with locallly commented after seeing my long rant post that they don't care about the deeper game, they just want to play. But these are the same guys who bring top-tier highly competitive stuff to the store week after week. So I have to believe it's not so much that they don't care, but that they like it. Which is fine, I do not in any way wish to influence how they choose to play the game.

But if WotC can't get its stang together concerning balance within the factions and with the maps and with the sanctioned rules, they may be playing tournaments without me very soon. I've already decided not to play in the Championship as it is. Sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Frankly, after seeing your reaction to the 2007 champs, I've never really felt like this aspect of the game is for you. Which is fine. Some will enjoy it and some won't. I don't really get the "stress" (for lack of a better word) that the competetive game brings to some but it clearly has that effect on a significant number of people. Gencon has plenty of other stuff to offer these people as well. Do what you find fun.

It's unfortunate your venue is so competetive (whether they admit it or not--which may even include you to some extent since you speak often of banishing "bad" minis to the eternal bin of darkness.) I'm pretty grateful for the group we have right now. You'll see everything on the tables. Nick was running Mon Mothma and younglings last week. Logan had Warmaster in one game and Maul on Speeder in another. Ryan had a huge wheeliedroid out recently. And so on. Occasionally you hit a horrible matchup and you just eat it for 30 minutes and move on.

More on topic, while people keep bringing up the maps issue as the "problem" and you keep correcting them, it's not really wrong. The maps get discussed because they're the easiest avenue of change. It's a teeter-totter problem. If you have a fat kid on one side and a skinny kid on the other, it just ain't gonna work. And that doesn't mean it's either kid's fault. But it's a heck of a lot more reasonable to suggest that the problem is with the skinny kid's side and some weight should be added rather than suggesting lopping off the fat kid's leg. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Has the 150 point game become Rebels only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:04 pm 
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NickName wrote:
Frankly, after seeing your reaction to the 2007 champs, I've never really felt like this aspect of the game is for you. Which is fine. Some will enjoy it and some won't. I don't really get the "stress" (for lack of a better word) that the competetive game brings to some but it clearly has that effect on a significant number of people.


The "stress," and really I would label it disillusionment more than stress is that top-competitiveness tends to bring out the worst in people. I saw it in Magic, and I cautioned about it when the first Championship was proposed. That is probably what you are referring to.

And so what happened at that first tournament? I saw it start to ooze out. Setting aside the fluke big d, it was the reaction and attitude of the person I faced that had more to do with my bad time that game than the actual big D. The guy had the audacity to instruct me, "Don't drop," and for a brief moment I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was being encouraging, until he started to preach to me about strength of schedule and how me dropping might affect his ranking. I never wanted to drop a tournament more than in that moment, just to make it clear what I thought of him telling me not to out of pure selfishness on his part.

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Gencon has plenty of other stuff to offer these people as well. Do what you find fun.


Indeed. And I will be doing those things on Saturday.

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It's unfortunate your venue is so competetive (whether they admit it or not--which may even include you to some extent since you speak often of banishing "bad" minis to the eternal bin of darkness.) I'm pretty grateful for the group we have right now. You'll see everything on the tables. Nick was running Mon Mothma and younglings last week. Logan had Warmaster in one game and Maul on Speeder in another. Ryan had a huge wheeliedroid out recently. And so on. Occasionally you hit a horrible matchup and you just eat it for 30 minutes and move on.


I had a competitive streak for a time, but during that time I also liked to mix up what I played, and I tended to bring stuff that was not common just for the oppportunity to expose players at the store to other stuff. But whether its because the set dropped to 40 pieces or because the top-tier game is sharpened to such a fine point, the choices have dwindled to play X and win or play Y and lose. Plus, I have to give the local kids credit - they're much better players than they were two or three years ago. Even when I would bring a tier-1 squad, that wasn't a guaranteed win against the kids who really knew how to play. It was fun losing to them sometimes because it meant they had learned how to play, and I got to see that maturity in the process.

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More on topic, while people keep bringing up the maps issue as the "problem" and you keep correcting them, it's not really wrong. The maps get discussed because they're the easiest avenue of change. It's a teeter-totter problem. If you have a fat kid on one side and a skinny kid on the other, it just ain't gonna work. And that doesn't mean it's either kid's fault. But it's a heck of a lot more reasonable to suggest that the problem is with the skinny kid's side and some weight should be added rather than suggesting lopping off the fat kid's leg. :)


Well I don't disagree that the maps are a problem, but I think it is a misconception to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the people in charge of making the maps.

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