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 Post subject: Special Edition - Inside the mind of a designer - Ghost Crew
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:48 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
Imperial Dignitaries

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:17 pm
Posts: 5934
In this special edition we take a look at a Vset10 Facebook thread. Yes, most design teams have a Facebook group. These groups give the designers where they can have conversations just among themselves as well as not having to wait for the admins here get around to creating threads here on SWMgamers.com

In this instance we look at the discussion on how the Rebels in the Mini set are going to work together as The Ghost Crew.


Tim Ballard
February 24 ยท
OK - Ghost Crew. I think in general I like the way they play together, and I don't have a problem with them as a unit (stronger than anticipated, but not broken). The thing I fear is that certain pieces will prove more powerful in other squads. That is fine too, but I still want more motivation for the crew to be played together. I'm wondering if we shouldn't raise the cost of every character by 2 (or 3) and have each character give rapport to another member for the same points that we raise them. We could do it by their Ghost 1 through Ghost 6 designations. Hera to Kanan, Kanan to Zeb, Zeb to Chopper, Chopper to Sabine, Sabibe to Ezra, and Ezra to Hera. That way they are more expensive to play individually but the same package price.
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Les Eller As long as when played together they are where they are now I am ok with that
February 25 at 12:02am
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Tim Ballard That's the idea Les. Same price for all 6 together, more expensive apart
February 25 at 1:00am
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Laura M. Kiernan I agree that there needs to be more incentive to play them all together. I had originally thought of some sort of cumulative bonus (the more Ghost Crew you have, the better each one gets), but that would be hard to balance. The rapport idea seems to do the same thing.
February 25 at 5:43am
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Tim Ballard I don't know if Dave would hate us for the rapports. Or if card room is a factor on any of them.
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Tim Ballard Though it's not a new president. The commano droid spotter and sniper are encouraged to be played together through rapport. As well as the republic commandos.
February 25 at 10:10am
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Les Eller I think that is where the game design is at. Mainly because of everything that has came before it is very difficult to get pieces priced right to work as a team yet not be under costed as an individual. It took us a bit to get the commandos hammered out.
February 25 at 10:14am
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Deri Morgan Sorry for the delay in responding but i've been snowed under with lectures and I finally have some time to breath. I don't mind doing the rapport thing but I would simplify it as much as possible. I don't think the rapport as designed is suitable. Its a weird "pass the parcel" thing that seems quite convoluted. i know that TJ is very resistant to Sabine being where she is right now although it kind of irks me when someone test a piece, kills it with a squad type that its supposed to combat and then complains about its strength. All the play test told me is that she is vulnerable in todays game and that TJ fears the piece. I listed her as a power 9 piece and if it wasn't for the desire for furious burst on Sylvar she probably would have been the power 10 of my selections because i dig the character. There are many squad types that could do away with her with little damage. EMBO kills her outright from 16 squares in many build taking at most 10 dmg back. Bombs (vong and geos) can set themselves off on her mines. Thrawn can take her out easily with a miriad of different options. So I'm not sure adding 8 points to her cost is a reasonable request. I want Sabine to be effective in the ghost crew but i also want her to be played in other squads to dampen the effectiveness of Mira. There was a lot of push back form mira after Frosty con and having something that diminishes her effectiveness might be a good addition. Rebel builds haven't seen a lot of play and i don't believe she will be a "plug and play" piece with every build. However, i'm not against changing her, explosive traps needs to drop the +4 to attack in anycase because it will stack with other traps which it shouldn't, whether she gets normal traps is another question.
February 25 at 11:35am
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Tim Ballard So what do you propose for Rapport? Raise Hera 5 and give her rapport 1 for all ghost crew members? Raise 10 and rapport 2?
February 25 at 11:50am
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Tim Ballard She's the one it would make the most sense on. She's also (outside of Sabine) the most likely to be a tier 1 piece. So raising her cost and giving rapport balances that.
February 25 at 11:52am
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Deri Morgan Yeah, something like that. I mean survuval expert to ghost crew is a great reason to run them together and they already work well together. So if you want some rapport it should be on one fig and she makes the most sense. I would also avoid going more than 1.
February 25 at 11:52am
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Tim Ballard The thing is that the only figured that it would really affect being used outside the whole crew is Hera. My idea for each having rapport for a different member means each one is weaker individually. Having it just on Hera is fine, but it's only really worth doing if we don't want her to be used individually. And As Deri said with survival expert there is already a reason to not play her alone.
February 25 at 12:00pm
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Tim Ballard It does make me a little nervous the the Ghost crew is beating really good squads, and it's only loss is to a GenCon top 8 squad run by an experienced top 8 finisher. And that was barely.
February 25 at 12:45pm
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Deri Morgan They are shooty squads that play into the survival expert + evade combo. Sabine is supposed to dampen Mira and in general all the ghost crew are good pieces. Its clear that we should focus a lot on these guys to get them right. I think the feel is right they just need to be tweaked up or down depending on their relative strengths or if we think they are too strong.
February 25 at 12:56pm
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Les Eller So, i guess this begs the question, Should they not be this good as a team? I haven't read all the play reports yet. To know how good they are or not. Rebels have seen much love in a while so maybe it is team to give them new life? Tantive troopers being an exception, but that looks like it is going to be changed to work more like it was intended.
February 25 at 1:35pm
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Les Eller So I read the Hera PT thread Here is a thought. Make Sabine Rebel only. Probably change the name to Sabine, Young Rebel or Demolishonist. Maybe bump her cost up 3 to 5 and give her Rapport with Hera to what ever the bump was. Hera is only good in the ghost squad. So this make Sabine playable in else where, but a standout in the ghost squad.

Also I find it funny that the guy that won the match thought they were about right and the guy that lost thought they were too powerful.
February 25 at 1:53pm
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Tim Ballard From what I've heard rebels are going to get a ridiculous boost in set 11.
February 25 at 2:42pm
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Deri Morgan it is not for us to adapt to future changes
February 25 at 2:45pm
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Les Eller I can't agree with Deri more.
February 25 at 3:01pm
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Laura M. Kiernan Sorry guys--planned to chime in on this on lunch, then stuff came up. I will have thoughts when I get home from work.
February 25 at 3:52pm
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Tim Ballard okay I'm just gonna put this out there as well. If we don't want the six of them together to be a top-tier squad here's my suggestion. Make the six of them together exactly 100 points we only need to raise each of them a couple points and we'll be there. I think it be kind of cool to have them total exactly 100 points because it's not themaric for them to have uggies or mouse droids with them. I've actually heard a lot of people say would be cool if the six of them equal exactly 100 points. And that brings down the ceiling for each of them a little and as a squad definitely makes them teir 2
February 25 at 4:27pm
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Les Eller you mean 200 right?
February 25 at 4:30pm
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Deri Morgan I'm sure you meant 200. That's a significant cost increase to each.
February 25 at 4:30pm
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Tim Ballard Yes. 200. Thats like 2 points each
February 25 at 4:51pm
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Tim Ballard Had to go back and check the math, but with Sabine's latest suggested price of 25, that makes the six Ghost Crew members cost 190 total. Raise each 1-2 points, and we're there if we decide to do that. It's not only to be a 200 on the dot squad (although I do think that's cool) it's also prudent. These guys are all pretty good, and raising each a point or 2 will help prevent a possible oops.
February 26 at 1:29am
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Laura M. Kiernan I know I haven't been very vocal here (damn 9-5 job), but I have been thinking about this a lot. I can see the appeal of costing the whole group at 200 points, but that seems like the opposite of what we were looking at when we started the thread. We wanted to make sure the whole group together wasn't top tier, but we also wanted to encourage people to play the whole group together. It seems like costing them this way would basically ensure that no one would ever play the whole group together, and the PT report seemed to say that the whole group together wasn't top level competitive, but some combinations of the characters probably were. So it seems like we're already more or less where we wanted to be with the pieces as a group, give or take some additional incentive to play them all together. I actually really liked the idea of some sort of rolling bonus (not necessarily rapport) based on the call signs--you could still have combinations within that, but the more of them you played, the more of them got boosted. In any case, I think the question now is much more how do we tweak the pieces that are most likely to be pulled out.
February 26 at 7:17am
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Tim Ballard I'd love if we could find some kind of balance to them as a squad vs individually. But that is a hard task. The issue is that virtually no matter what, someone will find a combo that works better than the 6 of them, unless we insanely overcost them and then give them a giant rapport. And I don't want to add more abilities either. It's perfectly fine the individual pieces shine in other squads, but what I fear is this: if the whole group is near top tier (which it appears to be), then individually there could be some outside synergies that make certain pieces too good. That's why I think a cost raise is good, and maybe even a bigger cost raise + rapport. This is where we need to use caution.
February 26 at 10:24am
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Les Eller So why exactly is it bad that they are top tier. Sure it isn't what we intended, but it has worked out that way and it isn't like they are unbeatable.
February 26 at 10:42am
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Deri Morgan What are you actually worrying about here, Tim? You want no additional top tier squads? What the game has now is enough? Why are you trying so hard to design something that isn't top tier? Why are you against some of the rebels crew being t1? The way the game has always been is that figs that go together thematically can be good but generally the best squads are non canon combos. I certainly aren't bothered with the prospect of adding a new rebels squad type based of the new source material. It just seems you are really pushing for the whole lots to be average whereas most of the rebels crew are costed 8+ in strength. So I'm having a hard time understanding your point here
February 26 at 10:42am
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Tim Ballard Apparently I didn't explain myself well. I have no problem whatsoever if some of these characters ending up in tier one squads. I just think it's dangerous to design The unit of all six as a tier one squad. Because inevitably they will be synergies found outside of the group that will make individual pieces too powerful.
February 26 at 1:25pm
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Deri Morgan I thought they function well together because of Co-ordinate command for movement and the survival expert for evade roles? So the combo's you are worried about are Hera and or Kanan with a couple of ghost crew members and different support (luke, leia or han)? It seems to me that because of the boosts Hera and Kanan give that they are generally strongest together. There may be a better fit for Chopper in a snowspeeder squad. Sabine is going to work better with grenade/missile squads. But with those builds you are losing CC and survival expert unless you add in Hera/kanan to get it which takes up vauable build points. I can't really see a situation where the individuals play a better role separately unless you are using chopper for more snowspeeder cannon shots which is difficult when he has to be within 6 on his turn (limits deepstrikes) and you have to pick luke as a snowspeeder taking levitation out of the equation or when you have to get a 70 hp figure within 6 of opponents to get the -4 to grenade saves for the other. So what kind of synergies are you expecting to become problematic?
February 26 at 2:03pm
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Tim Ballard Ones we haven't thought of. There are always surprise squads that pop up, and that's a good thing. I actually think dropping Kanan would be the way to go if I were building. The extra 2 squares of movement once per round is minimal. I'd add in tech and Luke Commando in his place personally. But that's beside the point. I think they do function well as a team, I just don't think we should push them further. The only changes I am suggesting at this point is only a slight cost increase (200 even) OR a greater cost increase and a rapport (back to 200 even). That's all. But I just wanted to bring it up and see what everyone thought. I don't want to add more abilities. I think currently they are a strong tier 1.5 and maybe a tier 1 with the right matchups currently. I don't want to make them better, I don't want to add stuff, if anything I just want them pulled back a smidge. But I feel more strongly about not making them better.
February 26 at 2:12pm
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Deri Morgan I don't think anyone is interested in adding anything, perhaps i'm wrong but i havn't really seen any designers asking for a large increase in abilties. From what i've read most people seem happy with where the squad is now. Zeb is a bout 2-3 point too much according to playtests which kind of puts him where he should be (~7). Chopper was suggested to be 2 points cheaper but then i designed him to be a bucket of tricks that don't always go together so he's probably right where he needs to be. Hera is great with twin suppressive fire, evade, survival, pilot and acrobatic and is probably the marquee piece because of the great ranged defense, attacks and movement that cut through everything and access to pilot tricks. I don't think she needs anything more other than tests currently. Erza has a bucket of tricks but now his celing has lowered so he is 40 dmg max a turn. His abilities are kind of cool but his price range makes him compete with the best of the rebels. Sabine is pretty much where i want her for cost and abilities, she will be awesome against some squads and incredibly risky against others, but that's just a reflection of todays game. Now that she is soley a rebel without explosive expert her abusiveness is heavily reduced. Kanan is about right also. Perhaps change reflect for defense and he's about done. One additional point, you can't say a squad is t1.5 sometimes and t1 others. The tier of a squad is a refection of their overall effectiveness. They are either T1(i.e. great against the majority of squads with a few bad matchups or t1.5 meaning they are strong with some good match ups but generally fall short against current gatekeepers (or may even be a gatekeeper)). The "rebels" group are built with last years swarm run meta in mind. Kanan and Sabine are both swarm counters, Hera is a minor a tank buster, Zeb is cheap muscle and Ersa and chopper are techy pieces. I havn't read anything that makes me believe that increasing their overall cost 10 points is anything but arbitrary.
February 26 at 3:10pm

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 Post subject: Re: Special Edition - Inside the mind of a designer - Ghost
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:16 pm 
One of the Sith on Malgus' Shuttle
One of the Sith on Malgus' Shuttle

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:39 am
Posts: 4969
I feared Sabine as a Mandalorian finding her way to a Sith squad. Caedus/Barriss is very good. If the Mines are Cloaked and Save 15 (19 with Dark Aura) I think that could have been a problem... replacing Barriss with Sabine.

I think she's cool without Mandalorian.


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