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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:04 pm 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
my stance stands on activation control and probably will until the results of the regionals shows differently. The maps, rules and figs don't change enough of the core concepts of the game to take away its advantages.

The only aspect of the rules that might change its hold of the game is the gambit rule but even then tempo control squads get to put their figure in gambit last and clear the other squads away.

All the 200 point squads that did well at Gen Con were generally activation control squads. B&B with Scourge and Cade, Rebel snowspeeders, NR evade, they all had activation control. Yobuck squads struggled against them, i know cos thats what i ran.

I've seen it dominate for too long.


QFT. I heard lots of "theory" talk running around, but activation control is still the biggest single ability in the game to me.


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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Maybe not each match, but at the start of each round, after initiative is determined.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Cybit wrote:
fingersandteeth wrote:
my stance stands on activation control and probably will until the results of the regionals shows differently. The maps, rules and figs don't change enough of the core concepts of the game to take away its advantages.

The only aspect of the rules that might change its hold of the game is the gambit rule but even then tempo control squads get to put their figure in gambit last and clear the other squads away.

All the 200 point squads that did well at Gen Con were generally activation control squads. B&B with Scourge and Cade, Rebel snowspeeders, NR evade, they all had activation control. Yobuck squads struggled against them, i know cos thats what i ran.

I've seen it dominate for too long.


QFT. I heard lots of "theory" talk running around, but activation control is still the biggest single ability in the game to me.


Interesting. I've posted results over and over again to the contrary, but obviously it's only "theory". I don't disagree that it can be an advantage and can be used quite well by levels of play below Championship caliber, which makes it seem more than it is. But in terms of the championship meta, to which I specifically said I was responding, I disagree with you both.

Do I need to post specific examples? Like how Ben took 3rd at the Racine regional with Sith in 150 and nearly beat Deri's activation control? Or perhaps where Lou and I each went 3-1 at Gencon in 200 with Qui-Gon JT (I lost to him in a first round mirror and then beat 3 straight different act control squads). I guess Matt should never have run his Seps in 200 because he dared not to use San Hill, but as I remember, he went 3-1 in the Team tournament with it, losing not to act control, but to Wedge when he made a stupid set up error against "gasp" Republic.

In 100, I ran 4 pieces, and won the thing, and I played two games against Dodonna. Hell, the winning 200pt squad was an Uggernaught squad with Tarkin so he could go first with more than one act.

In the Team event, I ran Ozzel. But you know what, even being out activated (by 2), and losing map (Teth), I still managed to smoke a Slow Cannon squad with Cade and Scourge. And I debated Ozzel or not, and in the end ran him because of the chance at "reserves". In all 4 games, I tried or managed to get Ozzel killed by mid game (once got him disrupted for a couple of rounds). I wished I hadn't included him at all.

I understand it can help in some situations, and some of you see the price of Dodonna and think, well for that price, he's an auto include. But that isn't necessarily true in top level play. The advantages it gives depends entirely on the meta, and your own play skill.

Let me back up to a comparable example. In 2008 Gencon, I ran Speedy Cannon without Dodonna and won it. The PAX champ dropped the BG for Dodonna and won PAX. Do you really think I needed Dodonna??? Do you think I didn't play against activation control nearly every match? How could I possibly win without it? There are other strategies available in the game that can give you the same level of advantages as activation control. That is the central point of contention in my reading, you two are claiming it is superior to all other, or at least that it's significant enough to trump other options. That just isn't so, otherwise I would never win a game with Sith, OR, Vong, Republic. Or I would never win when I run Rebels without Dodonna, or Seps without San, or Imperials without Ozzel. Surprisingly, I win a lot of games without those.

I do not consider any of them auto-includes the way I consider door control. I base their use on the given meta, and on the squad I am designing itself. Some squads function better with activation control, and some need/want other things instead. I ran a Rebel squad just the other day without Dodonna against Dean's San Hill and did absolutely fine with it.

Further, the gambit advantages, and the map list have greatly favored act control up to this point (even despite the wins I have mentioned in this thread). It isn't nearly so important when you have a map where you can advance to the half way point safely. Once the action begins, activation control generally becomes a waste of points. My DT Sith squad had little trouble against a Dodonna/Wedge NR standard team the other day on Vassal. The map was ravaged base.

I can't tell you how many times I've flat out not bothered to kill Dodonna once the battle started, because it wasn't worth the points to bother. Now, I understand, much of what I say is not necessarily true at other levels of play, but for me, activation control is not as strong as has been suggested.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:02 pm 
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The key is that maybe at the highest end of play, it isn't as big of a deal. Even then, almost, shoulda, coulda, woulda...between two even skill players, I think the person with activation control will beat the one without it 7/10 times. Also, I think the sheer amount of firepower unleashed in this last year makes it scarier.

Problem is, at all other levels, it is absolutely brutal.

The game can't be based around purely high end play. No one new ever joins the game.


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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:08 pm 
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I will definitely agree, for the not-quite-the-very-top level of play, tempo control can be a lot more brutal. I guess what Bill is trying to get across is that everyone can learn to deal with it. There are ways to play such that it isn't a problem for you.

Honestly, if people are consistently having trouble beating tempo control, then the best advice I can give is to play Republic more often. A lot of the reasons why I feel comfortable beating tempo control now, is because I've learned the nuances necessary to run a faction that has absolutely no access to it. Once I got a better feel for how to run various types of Republic squads (Jedi, swaps, clones, etc.), then I was able to start taking that tactical knowledge back to the other factions, and seeing how to work with those ones against tempo control as well. Now, I truly find myself only building tempo control into my squads if I absolutely need it. I rarely use Ozzel. Dodonna is usually only if I have a ton of activations already, and I have those magic 9 points left over. San Hill is the only one I tend to 'build around', and that's partly because of the Reserves options, and partly because of the dependency of Sep squads on Opportunist (IG-86's, Lancer's with low HP, etc.).

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:12 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
Interesting. I've posted results over and over again to the contrary, but obviously it's only "theory". I don't disagree that it can be an advantage and can be used quite well by levels of play below Championship caliber, which makes it seem more than it is. But in terms of the championship meta, to which I specifically said I was responding, I disagree with you both.

Do I need to post specific examples? Like how Ben took 3rd at the Racine regional with Sith in 150 and nearly beat Deri's activation control? Or perhaps where Lou and I each went 3-1 at Gencon in 200 with Qui-Gon JT (I lost to him in a first round mirror and then beat 3 straight different act control squads). I guess Matt should never have run his Seps in 200 because he dared not to use San Hill, but as I remember, he went 3-1 in the Team tournament with it, losing not to act control, but to Wedge when he made a stupid set up error against "gasp" Republic.


My activation control squad is probably not a great example, but it did win and that was after missing 2-3 kill shots on malak needing 7's which would've made the game a rout.

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In 100, I ran 4 pieces, and won the thing, and I played two games against Dodonna. Hell, the winning 200pt squad was an Uggernaught squad with Tarkin so he could go first with more than one act.

100 points is less about activations and more about power but I ran the same squad you ran and Tim beat me pretty much due to activation control and triple override (keep doors locked, out activate, unlock, kill, lock). I'm not great at 100 points and i had a chance to make it back (damn those back2back 1's) but i was behind the whole game. The uggernaught squad used a mechanic that won't work anymore. The uggernaughts smoked his opponents entire squad in the first round because of Hoth. Tim replayed Ruben on a different map and it wasn't close. With the restrictive maps his strategy is much harder to work now.

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In the Team event, I ran Ozzel. But you know what, even being out activated (by 2), and losing map (Teth), I still managed to smoke a Slow Cannon squad with Cade and Scourge. And I debated Ozzel or not, and in the end ran him because of the chance at "reserves". In all 4 games, I tried or managed to get Ozzel killed by mid game (once got him disrupted for a couple of rounds). I wished I hadn't included him at all.


It served you well enough to win, i don't see why you would take back your successful build. Its hardly and argument against activation control

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I understand it can help in some situations, and some of you see the price of Dodonna and think, well for that price, he's an auto include. But that isn't necessarily true in top level play. The advantages it gives depends entirely on the meta, and your own play skill.

No not nessicarily true always, but i would need a really good reason not to run him.

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Let me back up to a comparable example. In 2008 Gencon, I ran Speedy Cannon without Dodonna and won it. The PAX champ dropped the BG for Dodonna and won PAX. Do you really think I needed Dodonna??? Do you think I didn't play against activation control nearly every match? How could I possibly win without it? There are other strategies available in the game that can give you the same level of advantages as activation control. That is the central point of contention in my reading, you two are claiming it is superior to all other, or at least that it's significant enough to trump other options.

Your Gen Con 2008 championship squad was well built but it used map selection to hinder opponents activation control as much as its own squad construction. Surely you understand that these deep strike counters are much harder to realise with the loss of the starship, hoth and others.

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That just isn't so, otherwise I would never win a game with Sith, OR, Vong, Republic. Or I would never win when I run Rebels without Dodonna, or Seps without San, or Imperials without Ozzel. Surprisingly, I win a lot of games without those.

Republic have counters, I included them as top meta because of the phenomenal movement breaking and swarm control. The others i don't really see them competing too often. Seps without San run Lancers (i believe that is the sans-San Hill squad Matt runs). It has a very hard counter to activation control - a lawnmower.

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I do not consider any of them auto-includes the way I consider door control. I base their use on the given meta, and on the squad I am designing itself. Some squads function better with activation control, and some need/want other things instead. I ran a Rebel squad just the other day without Dodonna against Dean's San Hill and did absolutely fine with it.


Well thats just good squad building. I don't mean to be so restictive but there are so many times where I play without activation control and I realise that if i had been able to control the first engagement the result would have been so much more smooth. Thats the cusion it gives you.

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Further, the gambit advantages, and the map list have greatly favored act control up to this point (even despite the wins I have mentioned in this thread). It isn't nearly so important when you have a map where you can advance to the half way point safely. Once the action begins, activation control generally becomes a waste of points. My DT Sith squad had little trouble against a Dodonna/Wedge NR standard team the other day on Vassal. The map was ravaged base.

your point about activation control once engagement commences is well taken, it does become superfluous after the intitial strike unless there is a retreat and regroup from both sides where it becomes useful again. However, that first engagement is often game breaking which is where the power lies. All too often the choice when playing agains activation control becomes "well he is my sacrifice so i can hopefully get it back if these odds go in my favour" rather than the option for activaiton control which is "i'll smoke whatever attacks, and if he doen't attack i'll ping his fodder end of round"

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I can't tell you how many times I've flat out not bothered to kill Dodonna once the battle started, because it wasn't worth the points to bother. Now, I understand, much of what I say is not necessarily true at other levels of play, but for me, activation control is not as strong as has been suggested.

Yeah once the battle starts there are better options for more points but by that time, if played well the activation control has done its job and the opponent is playing catch up.

Anyway, i hope your right Bill because its my sorest point with this game. I'm kind of out of practice since Gen Con because of work and other factors but i havn't seen a whole lot change and controlling that first engagement is very important and hard to do without activation control when you face it.
Admitedly, the speed of pieces has increased the last few sets (mainly in factions that can already compete) so perhaps i'm just out of touch.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:26 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Honestly, if people are consistently having trouble beating tempo control, then the best advice I can give is to play Republic more often. A lot of the reasons why I feel comfortable beating tempo control now, is because I've learned the nuances necessary to run a faction that has absolutely no access to it. Once I got a better feel for how to run various types of Republic squads (Jedi, swaps, clones, etc.), then I was able to start taking that tactical knowledge back to the other factions, and seeing how to work with those ones against tempo control as well. Now, I truly find myself only building tempo control into my squads if I absolutely need it. I rarely use Ozzel. Dodonna is usually only if I have a ton of activations already, and I have those magic 9 points left over. San Hill is the only one I tend to 'build around', and that's partly because of the Reserves options, and partly because of the dependency of Sep squads on Opportunist (IG-86's, Lancer's with low HP, etc.).


Republic is brought up again and i feel compelled to re-itterate my point.

Republic don't suffer. They have an abundance of tools to deal with activation control. Speed, gallop, swap and figs with immense dmg mitigation. Don't you see how this takes away from the effects of activation control which allows you to focus on the pieces that engage? You might begin to hit the engaged piece but then its replaced with a fig that is designed to soak dmg, while Yoda munches your activations like pacman.

the issue is not one of the big 5. The issue is the bottom 4. Those are who my concerns are directed at.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:30 pm 
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OK. But....take activation control out of the picture altogether. Ban all those pieces. Can the bottom 4 truly still compete? Even then I think the bottom 4 will struggle to compete against the likes of things like Rebel Snowspeeder, Sep Droids, and NR Evade. The bottom 4 have no access to Disruptive either, which, IMO, hurts them as much, if not more, than tempo control.

The simple fact is, the top 5 factions (Rebel, Imp, Rep, Sep, NR) have the best tricks overall. Not just tempo control. Swap, Disruptive, board wide Evade, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Cybit wrote:
Problem is, at all other levels, it is absolutely brutal.


As opposed to one squad running door control and the other not?

Or how about one squad using init control, and the other not?

Perhaps one squad using top tier figures, and the other not?

How about one squad running any number of solid, competitive, synergistic options, and the other being a hodge podge of otherwise "good" or "ok" characters that don't mesh well, but are the personal favorites of the player?

I hope you see where I am going with this line of thinking.

There are a great many things in this game that can cause the exact same types of blow outs. One player gets wind of something, and tries it, beating the crap out of the locals who have never seen or heard about it. It happens all the time, and then they all think that particular thing is "broken".

There is only one relatively fair way to judge these things, and that's top level competitive play. Because it is only there, that "brokenness" can actually begin to be measured in any kind of fair method (and even that has it's own issues I admit).

In order to have a fair discussion, what needs to be discussed are the actual in game advantages. Are they so strong that they necessitate auto-inclusion? Can they be beaten by solid play otherwise? You get generally one round of serious advantage, which in a game between two otherwise comparable players and squads, can be enough to win. But are there strategies and styles that can lessen that advantage? And in fact, turn it into a disadvantage (as in waste of points in the case of Dodonna, but also the negative of San and Ozzel's CE's). You can, and i have done and shown both to be possible. You can also go the alternate route, of eliminating the advantage altogether (Yodabuck and Lancer do this quite well).

I fully admit, a local player, let's say of average skill, with likely win more games with act control than without. But that admission simply is that act control is an advantage. I would never argue the alternative (hell, I wrote an article on the strategy a couple of years ago that is still up on the Holocron). I am not prepared however, to say it's nearly as important as door control, and it's not nearly as important as strategy in squad building, and the tactics of the player.

Edit - Anyways, really good discussion guys, I appreciate it. I just read Deri's latest post, and having already written this one, I will just say, I agree with most of what you said. The only comment is on my Scourge and Cade squad, what I found (which I well knew before hand so it was not a shock) was that being out activated with Ozzel is a major issue. I built two versions of that squad long ago, and I prefer the non-ozzel one for a solo tournament. I chose the Ozzel one because the Team event provided the option to avoid the bad match ups. Well the game I lost, to Philip, was not the game of my choice because he out activated me with Dodonna, and coincidently smoked my squad fairly quickly. There were other advantages as well, evade and disruptive cause me a lot of issues that game as well, so it wasn't all on Ozzel. But if I had not had Ozzel in that one, I would have been able to do a number of things that I could not do that would have actually given me a chance to win (likely getting a swap in without being disrupted, or opening a door and getting someone through before it was overriden shut on me (or the one behind it - Ravaged Base). You get the idea. Ozzel was not the determining factor in my other wins either (getting him killed against the Speeder on Teth helped me tremendously).

And Deri, as to your concern for the "bottom four" Activation Control is not their only weakness. Try Zuckuss in them, he made my Sith squad shine against the NR, which should have smoked me otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Honestly, I include San more out of habit than anything, he is my crutch. Yet, I hardly ever include Ozzel or Dodonna.

Having played it so much, I have some issues seeing how it is any different than playing against any other squad type. But again, I am somewhat rusty on some of these issues.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:16 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
As opposed to one squad running door control and the other not?


Available to all factions cheaply now (finally)

billiv15 wrote:
Or how about one squad using init control, and the other not?


Changed with the activate two when you won initiative, and given only to two factions (and one on an unplayable figure)

billiv15 wrote:
Perhaps one squad using top tier figures, and the other not?


Choice of the players, and if the faction didn't have any top tier figures, then we'd say the faction was underpowered and needed some help.

billiv15 wrote:
How about one squad running any number of solid, competitive, synergistic options, and the other being a hodge podge of otherwise "good" or "ok" characters that don't mesh well, but are the personal favorites of the player?


Personal choice of the player.

billiv15 wrote:
I hope you see where I am going with this line of thinking.

There are a great many things in this game that can cause the exact same types of blow outs. One player gets wind of something, and tries it, beating the crap out of the locals who have never seen or heard about it. It happens all the time, and then they all think that particular thing is "broken".

There is only one relatively fair way to judge these things, and that's top level competitive play. Because it is only there, that "brokenness" can actually begin to be measured in any kind of fair method (and even that has it's own issues I admit).


Namely, does a skill disparity amongst the players conceal a disparity between pieces?


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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Cybit wrote:
Namely, does a skill disparity amongst the players conceal a disparity between pieces?

That is one of the issues I alluded to. The other is the relatively small sample sizes. Winning Gencon is great and all, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that the same player could of done the same thing with a different squad choice as well. Without a championship circuit, we just don't have the data necessary to make many claims at all.

Look back on the GOWK debates for precisely this problem rearing its ugly head :)

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:27 pm 
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I think activation control, while very helpful, is not necessary in squad building.

The biggest thing, as far as I can gauge, is tactics, particularly square counting. The biggest difference between myself and the other top players at my lgs and the younger, less experienced guys, is the focus put on counting squares. I have pulled and thwarted many plays because I chose to move 11 instead of 12, or stay one square from the corner vs. two or three.

Act control makes these setups easier, but my gameplay doesn't hinge on Dodonna's use.

Init control is another comfort item, to help take chance out of the game, but, again, careful positioning can leave you options to deal with luck.

Movement breakers are the only key feature I've seen that can't be replicated through careful construction or precise positioning, though it can be countered by them.

To summariz, yeah, I think positioning is the biggest factor, regardless the squads in play.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:43 pm 
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well positioning and counting is player skill really.

Acknowleging the advantages of certain map areas, counting distances, being aware of threat ranges, supporting pieces and making calculated sacrifices are tactics that good players use to gain the upper hand over less experienced. The best players do this in their head when the opponent is calculating thier next move.

The question here is; when player skill is equal what traits give the advantage to one side or another? Thats the epitome of game balance

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:56 pm 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
well positioning and counting is player skill really.

Acknowleging the advantages of certain map areas, counting distances, being aware of threat ranges, supporting pieces and making calculated sacrifices are tactics that good players use to gain the upper hand over less experienced. The best players do this in their head when the opponent is calculating thier next move.

The question here is; when player skill is equal what traits give the advantage to one side or another? Thats the epitome of game balance

EDIT

I think door control is biggest, then, if one side has it and the other doesn't, as it limits not only what options are tactically ideal, but occasionally, all options whatsoever, leaving an opponent with no choice at all, like checkmate.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:57 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
That is one of the issues I alluded to. The other is the relatively small sample sizes. Winning Gencon is great and all, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that the same player could of done the same thing with a different squad choice as well. Without a championship circuit, we just don't have the data necessary to make many claims at all.

Look back on the GOWK debates for precisely this problem rearing its ugly head :)


That was why I never liked the GOWK debates; they never took into account skill differences potentially being the determining factor IMO. At my local venue, the people who were better were winning, even with slightly inferior squads. That seemed like a good thing to me.

Also, what Deri said. If you could have equal level players play many times, what abilities would stand out as very key to victory. To me, Dodonna sounds like one. At least San Hill and Ozzel have a drawback.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Cybit wrote:
That was why I never liked the GOWK debates; they never took into account skill differences potentially being the determining factor IMO. At my local venue, the people who were better were winning, even with slightly inferior squads. That seemed like a good thing to me.
Incorrect. That is not what I was saying. I was saying that it was in fact impossible with so little data to remove that variable at all. We actually could not deal with it in any reasonable way that it had to basically be ignored, which of course bothered people like you who wanted it removed. There was nothing we could really do about it. Every time I won a game, the answer was always, "Well you would have won anyways".

Cybit wrote:
Also, what Deri said. If you could have equal level players play many times, what abilities would stand out as very key to victory. To me, Dodonna sounds like one. At least San Hill and Ozzel have a drawback.
You are forgetting that this is not the only variable. It also has to do with faction support, meta choices, and the actual cost. Let me see if I can explain.

Two top level players, one capable of dealing with activation control while not running it, overcomes the early disadvantage to placement by placing his own pieces well, preparing the strikes properly, and protecting his pieces. Dodonna then, becomes worthless (assuming player with Dodonna is also capable of the same thing and does not set himself up for an early strike either). The battle starts when player without act control starts it, and from there on out, Dodonna is a waste of points. In this case, it is not an advantage, but a disadvantage.

You say it can't be done? I've done it, more than once. So has Dean. So have many others.

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:53 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
Incorrect. That is not what I was saying. I was saying that it was in fact impossible with so little data to remove that variable at all. We actually could not deal with it in any reasonable way that it had to basically be ignored, which of course bothered people like you who wanted it removed. There was nothing we could really do about it. Every time I won a game, the answer was always, "Well you would have won anyways".


The data could have been collected, if necessary. The issue was the "quality" of data, IE, only supposed high-end games between top level players could count for balance. I don't particularly agree with that. But, that horse has been beaten dead, so whatever. :-p

billiv15 wrote:
You are forgetting that this is not the only variable. It also has to do with faction support, meta choices, and the actual cost. Let me see if I can explain.

Two top level players, one capable of dealing with activation control while not running it, overcomes the early disadvantage to placement by placing his own pieces well, preparing the strikes properly, and protecting his pieces. Dodonna then, becomes worthless (assuming player with Dodonna is also capable of the same thing and does not set himself up for an early strike either). The battle starts when player without act control starts it, and from there on out, Dodonna is a waste of points. In this case, it is not an advantage, but a disadvantage.

You say it can't be done? I've done it, more than once. So has Dean. So have many others.


As my roommate has pointed out, too much theorycraft involved at that point. The player with Dodonna could set up his pieces to strike at his opponent's pieces because he knows where they are at the end of the round. He may just force the other player to come to him if he out activates severely enough and the map doesn't allow a full protected gambit advance. Etc etc etc, we can beat around the bush. The idea is still that I can wait for you to go, and force you to come to me. In a game where being able to activate two pieces last means there is 160 damage floating on the table, and then we roll initiative, that's a monstrous advantage.

What you said is possible, but doesn't always happen on a regular basis. Dodonna's issue is as much in that he's in Rebel and NR as his ability. Giving arguably the most powerful faction (good cheap commanders with amazing abilities. lots of high damage pieces that don't cost much) that ability is monstrous.

I just don't like Dodonna. It's the wrong ability to the wrong factions. At least Ozzel and San Hill have drawbacks. Dodonna really just doesn't.


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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Activation control can be an advantage and as Bill says once the shooting starts it doesn't really matter.

In the case of Dodonna however there is NO drawback. If your squad has exactly 9 pts left over and its either Dodonna or three 3 pt dudes I can see only 1 instance where it would even be a question (and that is an ithorian squad). That is because Dodonna offers a choice (which is extremely powerful) upon each phase. Now if you have extra pts left over and you can upgrade Dodonna to a HBG or an ERC or something it is an entirely different conversation and that is more of a squad building exercise. I can almost gaurentee that if 2 copies of the same squad play each other (one with Dodonna 1 with 3 uggies or rodians or mice or whatever) with similar players running them that the one with Dodonna wins a clear majority of the time.

Now if Dodonna was presented with a drawback (ie make the choice for the entire rd or the entire match either of which could be interpreted from the card) then I don't think there is any problem with him at all. People have been playing against San and Ozzel for years and no probvlems because there is an actual Drawback, but the ability for Dodonna to move 2 midway through a round is gamechanging. Imagine if San could do that. People now play certain sep builds without San so they can Yo-yo a lancer or IG86 with Sid, imagine if they could have san and still do the yo-yo in the same match as well.

I also think looking at Gencon it was in fact ruled by activation control as well as map list. Because not only did all the Speeder squads play it there were polenty of NR and Imp builds that had it as well and there may have been a San or 2 also. Changing the map list will help as there won't be the incentive to run a guy to gambit on the last move and not care if he lives or dies. However Activation Control will still remain a potential issue similar to the way init control was for a long time until the new init rule was put into effect to move 1.


Yobuck and Lancer went quite a ways toward making activation control matter less and I think that if Dodonna were changed it would go the rest of the way although it would be neat to see a cheap fringe guy that negated activation contol commanders (ie each player must activate 2 each phase) sort of thing so that neither player could abuse activation control in a match where he appeared.

And yes I think this is a good discussion about the current state of our game

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 Post subject: Re: SWM Meta: 2010
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Guys, just an FYI, don't mistake my arguing the point with the idea that I like Dodonna :) I don't particularly. And I've long been thinking of fixes. I like Jason's ideas here about limiting him to one choice per round.

But there is a negative, even a relatively small one that most people just don't mind paying, and Jason eluded to it. He still costs 9pts, which can prevent the utilization of other great Rebel Tech. In NR, I almost always use Dodonna, because it's a primarily beat centered faction, and beats generally need the help. In Rebels it's honestly more like 50/50 for me. I know some of you use him in every squad, but I can tell you, if you are capable of running without Dodonna and doing it well, it isn't that necessary in many squads.

Back to Jason's example of a squad with it, and a squad without it, I played two of those games at Gencon 2008, one was my semifinal match against a Canadian player. We had slightly different Han Cannon squads, in that he went for activations, Dodonna, and the MTB option (brought a BG with reinforcements) instead of the Speeder. He beat another similar speeder squad quite easily, and the MTB with Dodonna let him off my BG fairly early in the game, and Leia followed a round or two later as you might imagine. I won it, but it was tough. It can be done, and it doesn't require having greater skill than your opponent, as I could not make that claim in this game. What I had to do was use my advantages carefully and choose sac pieces (Leia became one). With all his activations, getting the speeder to base his Han Scoundrel was a chore. I think I ended the game with 40hps left on my Han, and the speeder at like 10.

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