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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:18 am 
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The problem with the players 'complaining' (and I use that term loosely, because when I discussed this with a player at my regional my impression was that he did not want to characterize this as a complaint) is perception. There are players who think that the meta is too wide open for them to compete. That means the potential is there for us to lose those players.

We should never take losing players lightly. If their observations are accurate, we need to consider accomodating them and doing something about the meta. But will those changes cause an exodus of other players? However, if their observations are not accurate, then we need to see if we can change their perception.

Squad building has been discussed in several of the posts in this thread. In my opinion, this is the heart of the issue. If your squad is sound, if you have a lot of seat time with the squad, and if you've accounted for the possibility of facing several of the popular squads, you should expect to do well. The problem is what the player defines as a sound squad. Education of how to build a competitive squad is what we need in my opinion, not a manipulation of the meta.

If it sounds like I am saying "If you are complaining then you're not a good player" I am not. I've been playing this game since '05 and I've beaten some of the best players in this game and hold nearly a .500 record against HoF members playing them at GenCon and regionals. That said, the reason I am not regarded in the same light as they are is squad building. I could use the education I am speaking of. It's not just novices who have made the observations about the wide open meta... some of the people I've talked to are experienced players who have taken part in the putting the Vsets on our tables by helping out in various ways. They believe in what we've been trying to do; they're just frustrated right now in not being able to read the meta the way they used to. At least, they think that's why they're frustrated. Like me, I think the real reason is that they need to start abiding by some of the principles of squad building that they... and I... have ignored.

So... what do you all think? Could it be that maybe we just need to build better squads? I know that we'll still get blindsided once in awhile because the meta is still pretty wide open, but like has been brought up earlier, a sound squad build and practice can sometimes still overcome a bad matchup.

One other stray thought about the meta here. I look at it like playing a first person shooter on a console or computer. I suck at those, but I like playing them. One thing I've noticed is that as they have evolved from the early days of Doom, the people creating the maps try not to make spots on those maps where you can easily camp and rack up kills without watching your 6. There's always a danger if you focus on your killing zone you can get blindsided. That's kind of how I see this new meta.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:03 pm 
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This discussion can be ended with this quintessential 80's line:

You know who doesn't like variety? Communists...that's who.

:D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Darth_Jim wrote:
If it sounds like I am saying "If you are complaining then you're not a good player" I am not. I've been playing this game since '05 and I've beaten some of the best players in this game and hold nearly a .500 record against HoF members playing them at GenCon and regionals. That said, the reason I am not regarded in the same light as they are is squad building. I could use the education I am speaking of. It's not just novices who have made the observations about the wide open meta... some of the people I've talked to are experienced players who have taken part in the putting the Vsets on our tables by helping out in various ways. They believe in what we've been trying to do; they're just frustrated right now in not being able to read the meta the way they used to. At least, they think that's why they're frustrated. Like me, I think the real reason is that they need to start abiding by some of the principles of squad building that they... and I... have ignored.


Thank you.. my feelings exactly except I started in '07 and outside of a win on Les at a local lafayette event back in the day Im sitting with all losses against HOFers.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:06 am 
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Now that I'm at a PC I can post a little more about this.

While there aren't any pure world stomping squads out there, there are some general concepts and themes that are doing well. And from that knowledge we can pull some insight. The Squads I'm going to mention are based around one piece or combination that has tracked pretty well in regionls so far.

Mace Windu, Legacy of the Lightside. Put mace in a squad, mix in some movement and CE's and go. The version Hinkbert came up with is one that uses GOWK to make Mace's defense stupidly high and also uses Doc Ev's Healing to ensure he can sandpaper everybody down and keep his 1 attacker doing his thing every round. Mace squads excell at beating other factions Melee centered squads. It beats Solo Charge most of the time and gives Lancer fits as well. It's weak to a well ran swarm squad or anything that can knock down Mace's Defense fast enough to bring him down.

General Weir. Weir squads are a bit of an oddball for Imperials. For years Imperials have been Vader kills stuff/Thrawn swaps him around. Weir makes a 17 point piece into a total powerhouse shooter. Spryguy just won a tourney based around this concept. He knew that he could be super agressive with 1-2 of his storm commandos to get big damage on things early and use the rest of his squad as mop up. Tim has also made the Scout trooper on speeder part of the discussion. While it take a big engine to get that type of squad going the payoff is quite big. Weir squads hold a big advantage over Mace squads. Ysalamiri + Multitude of shots vs 2 dudes without guns based on force points is quite big hill to climb for mace.

Swarm. Ah, good ole swarm. While Jason is the only one to run swarm thats won a regional its power should be discussed. If only because the 2 pieces that were dominating last years meta are now gone in Yobuck and Lancer. WIth those 2 pieces out Swarm can actually have a shot at winning some stuff. There are a few types, but they are either based around high damage/low cost pieces with some added benefit, deathshots, or some combination thereof. Such as

Imperial Echani's
Plo Koon and Naboo Troopers
Jaster and Scouts
Dutch, Han STA, Red Ace Pilots

These types of squads I would say played well hold an advantage over both of the above mentioned squads. They usually have a counter to the Weir squads stealth (Accurate, Rodian Diplomat, Cloaked of their own, Insane speeds/disruptve respectfully.) and they pack enough of a punch to get to and kill mace/Gowk fast enough before they start stockpiling force points. Swarms in general lose to strafe and gallop but unti lthose things show up they can start beating down Weir and Mace.

Bastilla. Bastilla is the counter to the swarm. Swarms are based around a bunch of CE's making chumps good. Without those Ce's they go back to being chumps again. Most swarms are built with this knowledge going in so they have a plan to handle it. Like the Plo Koon squad could know he will need help hitting so he has Wicket in his squad to lower enemy defenses for example. Bastilla squads need to be built with the understanding that Mace can get to and kill your shooting very very quickly and Weir will have both ysalamiri and stealth for her to deal with. Bastilla is a great build for any CE based squad but takes it hard vs Mace and Weir.


SO the breakdown as I see it now is this.

Mace
Good:Other Melee teams, Bastilla, Lancer, Yobuck.
Bad: Weir, Swarm, Shooter heavy teams.

Weir
Good:Mace, Bastilla, Melee Teams
Bad: Swarm (Assuming you don't have a scout speeder. With a scout speeder your good vs swarm), Anything that outactivates you, high damage fast squads.

Swarm
Good:Mace, Weir (assuming no speeder, if so its bad.), Melee heavy squads.
Bad:Bastilla, Disruptive.

Bastilla
Good:Swarm, CE based squads
Bad:Mace, Weir

That's how I see it currently. There could be some variation due to player skill in the head to head matchups but from what I've gathered so far the above is about the best take on the meta I have. If you kind of have an idea ahead of time you should be able to pick the best option from above. If something you play has a weakness there is always a way to build for it and execute a plan. It just takes some practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:32 am 
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Good analysis, Weeks. I think this is a fairly solid analysis of the meta.

I'd really like to see a Han ST squad win a regional, because it's so much fun to play...but I think Swarms are probably the weakest of the main options listed here. I know that Mace can compete decently well even against his bad matchups...the same can't be said of swarms. Swarms are a bigger risk...and therefore a bigger reward, IMHO. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 am 
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thereisnotry wrote:
Good analysis, Weeks. I think this is a fairly solid analysis of the meta.

I'd really like to see a Han ST squad win a regional, because it's so much fun to play...but I think Swarms are probably the weakest of the main options listed here. I know that Mace can compete decently well even against his bad matchups...the same can't be said of swarms. Swarms are a bigger risk...and therefore a bigger reward, IMHO. :)



I was thinking about it the other night. And if the matchup is 30 Ewoks + support vs mace I'd take the Ewoks every single time. I'll put that out there as a challenge. Someone go 3-2 at a regional with Ewoks beating a mace squad when you do it!

But there are some swarms that are just diabolically evil and hard to beat.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:28 am 
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I agree with most of what Weeks said.

Although I don't think 3 Echani can be considered a "swarm" any more than 3 storm commandos. That is a classic glass cannon squad. The only true swarm squad that has won a regional this year is MO regional, and here's my analysis on that:

Jake K's 2011 squad (Nom, Cad Bane, Yomin Carr, ton of workers/scouts):
Good:Mace, Weir (speeder or not), Melee heavy squads, Bastilla
Bad: Disruptive (although doable), It's a Trap (not as bad as disruptive), Momaw Nadon (or Lobot to bring him in).

and thus add to Bastilla:
Good: (Non-Vong) CE based squads
Bad: Vong

Also - Speeder - I would add in:
Bad: Disruptive/Bastilla.

Speeders fare worse than the commandos alone vs Bastilla. They struggle a bit vs disruptive, but so do commandos (though not quite as much). Also - I think you really need the double bubble with Weir commandos to have it be in the "good" category vs Bastilla.


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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:46 am 
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Darth_Jim wrote:
The problem with the players 'complaining' (and I use that term loosely, because when I discussed this with a player at my regional my impression was that he did not want to characterize this as a complaint) is perception. There are players who think that the meta is too wide open for them to compete. That means the potential is there for us to lose those players.

We should never take losing players lightly. If their observations are accurate, we need to consider accomodating them and doing something about the meta. But will those changes cause an exodus of other players? However, if their observations are not accurate, then we need to see if we can change their perception.

Squad building has been discussed in several of the posts in this thread. In my opinion, this is the heart of the issue. If your squad is sound, if you have a lot of seat time with the squad, and if you've accounted for the possibility of facing several of the popular squads, you should expect to do well. The problem is what the player defines as a sound squad. Education of how to build a competitive squad is what we need in my opinion, not a manipulation of the meta.

If it sounds like I am saying "If you are complaining then you're not a good player" I am not. I've been playing this game since '05 and I've beaten some of the best players in this game and hold nearly a .500 record against HoF members playing them at GenCon and regionals. That said, the reason I am not regarded in the same light as they are is squad building. I could use the education I am speaking of. It's not just novices who have made the observations about the wide open meta... some of the people I've talked to are experienced players who have taken part in the putting the Vsets on our tables by helping out in various ways. They believe in what we've been trying to do; they're just frustrated right now in not being able to read the meta the way they used to. At least, they think that's why they're frustrated. Like me, I think the real reason is that they need to start abiding by some of the principles of squad building that they... and I... have ignored.

So... what do you all think? Could it be that maybe we just need to build better squads? I know that we'll still get blindsided once in awhile because the meta is still pretty wide open, but like has been brought up earlier, a sound squad build and practice can sometimes still overcome a bad matchup.

One other stray thought about the meta here. I look at it like playing a first person shooter on a console or computer. I suck at those, but I like playing them. One thing I've noticed is that as they have evolved from the early days of Doom, the people creating the maps try not to make spots on those maps where you can easily camp and rack up kills without watching your 6. There's always a danger if you focus on your killing zone you can get blindsided. That's kind of how I see this new meta.


The comment here about education really resonated with me. When I was developing my Sirli Swap squad for regional, the best thing i got out of posting about it here was other people comments on how particular pieces could be played/maximized. There were some very specific strategies on how to use Sirli that I had not seen but was able to utilize in the games, making me a better player and was directly responsible for winning the 2 games I did win.

While seat time is the best way to learn and get better, reading and educating on how to use certain pieces is really great. Perhaps that is something the design team or other group of quality players could do for the vset pieces, take 1 - 3 non-obvious pieces from each set and show how best to use them, tactics, type of squads for best fit, design intention. This helps people learn some of the stuff in there and could make people feel better about sitting across from it, or playing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:53 am 
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Azavander wrote:
While seat time is the best way to learn and get better, reading and educating on how to use certain pieces is really great. Perhaps that is something the design team or other group of quality players could do for the vset pieces, take 1 - 3 non-obvious pieces from each set and show how best to use them, tactics, type of squads for best fit, design intention. This helps people learn some of the stuff in there and could make people feel better about sitting across from it, or playing it.


I would love it if we could do this. I think one big thing we as a community are missing right now are high level players giving out this information. I'd like to start getting articles written for the game again on a regular or semi-regular basis. If anyone would like to help write them or give ideas for them, lemme know.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:21 am 
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Echo wrote:
Azavander wrote:
While seat time is the best way to learn and get better, reading and educating on how to use certain pieces is really great. Perhaps that is something the design team or other group of quality players could do for the vset pieces, take 1 - 3 non-obvious pieces from each set and show how best to use them, tactics, type of squads for best fit, design intention. This helps people learn some of the stuff in there and could make people feel better about sitting across from it, or playing it.


I would love it if we could do this. I think one big thing we as a community are missing right now are high level players giving out this information. I'd like to start getting articles written for the game again on a regular or semi-regular basis. If anyone would like to help write them or give ideas for them, lemme know.



I know Bill wrote up some great articles years ago, and they were very good and informative. They are a tad dated now, since most have read and understood it. So some new articles would do well to inform the community.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:20 pm 
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jonnyb815 wrote:

All the factions can be played but that being said I still believe the mandos,Rebels,Sith, will have the most trouble overall at gencon in a 6+ round tournament with top level play.

Imp
Republic
OR
Vong
Seps
NR

are the top six factions I believe.
Sith are right on the boarder and could go either way

The problem with Rebels is not really OR its that it does have an answer to a point for Imp but cant really play vs GOWK just not enough damage and too low hp vs Mace. I know they have direct damage but then they have trouble vs imp becuase of double bubble.

Until all the factions are at the same level I am not buying that the meta is wide open. I believe its a lot more limited then you all are leading on.


I actually think that right now with all the V-sets released, the Imperials are the best faction. Whether this was intentional or not, the Imperials have an answer to every challenge other factions pose. Bastilla is negated relatively cheaply. The vong are also good against OR, but their lack of shooters really hurts them and the Imperials have a lot more cheaper, better stuff. I may be alone in this line of thought, but I think the game is shifting in the Imperials favor since the advent of Bastilla. The Weir/Thrawn/Storm commando squad that Matt Spry ran is on of the best I've ever seen with the fewest weaknesses I've seen yet played in a regional. It's got variety, lots of firepower and mobility. The only feasible way I can see to beat it is to have high defense, and besides Gowk/Mace, there are few competitve squads that match well against other top tier squads. Out of what I've seen thus far, the Imperial's have me worried the most, particularly the Storm Commando/Weir squad.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Good analysis everyone!

Are there any other Jedi/melee teams that are viable, besides Mace and (I assume) Solo Charge?

Vong have been quietly doing nicely at Regionals - I think Jedi Hunter teams are obviously good against Mace, but awful against Weir (although having a couple of cloaked Quednaks in there could make things a bit more interesting).


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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:49 pm 
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obikenobi1 wrote:
The Weir/Thrawn/Storm commando squad that Matt Spry ran is on of the best I've ever seen with the fewest weaknesses I've seen yet played in a regional. It's got variety, lots of firepower and mobility. The only feasible way I can see to beat it is to have high defense, and besides Gowk/Mace, there are few competitve squads that match well against other top tier squads. Out of what I've seen thus far, the Imperial's have me worried the most, particularly the Storm Commando/Weir squad.


It's a good squad, and gives you a lot of options and a lot of counters, but at the end of the day it's a cannon squad with just 80 HP (with the option of 40 more) of main attackers. Main attackers who shoot at a +6 base, +13 max. Now obviously Weir and Tyber are very fierce in their own right, but you can't take huge risks with Weir because losing him cripples the rest of your squad. I have trouble seeing how that squad would consistently beat double lancer, except making almost every shield roll. Heck, I think Skybuck gives it a hell of a game, too. You can't bring in an anamin scout or any real huge movement breaking piece, so Yobuck accumulates damage on your guys and then Skywalker and Dash come in for the finisher. I don't think Doctrine of Fear would be enough to save you.

Solo Charge can give it tons of issues, too. No master tactician, and they can throw Han within six of a stormie, blow it away, and then retreat. Unless you swap Weir in, you're not gonna kill him. You do neuter Anakin with the Force bubbles, but then again Han can pretty easily pick Pellaeon off. It would be a very tactical game.

Now, right now no one is playing Skybuck or double lancer, and everyone and their brother is playing Mace. For this meta, Matt's squad is amazing. Against last year's meta, while it holds up, I don't think it dominates.

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 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:24 pm 
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yep, because Mace is single handedly keeping both of those squads out of the meta as I don't think either one has a very good matchup against Mace.

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