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Star Wars: Rebellion» Forums » General

Subject: Setup Permutations - Are they Balanced? rss

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Stephen Venters
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I've played SWR a dozen or more times now. From the Rebel's perspective, there are some initial setups that are far easier than others. I have read a thread or two about it and thought I'd actually run the numbers.

I wrote a little webpage that lists all of the possible initial system layouts and does a bit of math on each one to attempt to rate each one's "balance". As you look through it you will notice this:

Red cells favor the Rebels.
Dark Gray cells favor the Imperials.
Clear cells are somewhere in the middle.

I also assign a "Balance Score" 0 to 10) that loosely indicates if the setup favors a strong Rebel start (0.0) or a strong Imperial start (10.0).

http://ventersconsulting.com/BoardgameHelpers/Other/SWRAnaly...

A couple of statistics:
Total permutations = 2100
Cases where Rebel starts with Mon Calamari but Empire does not have Saleucami = 360 (17.1%)
Cases where all 3 initial Rebel systems have an Imperial neighbor = 480 (22.9%)

Take a look at it and let me know what you think.
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From my perspetive, It is important which systems the empire gets as subjugated and which are loyal.

I think the best case scenario(for empire) is Corellia (mst important), Mustafar and Mygeeto are loyal
with Saleucami as subjugated or an easy hop to Mon Cal.
If the empire also has Rodia, then it becomes real one sided.

Somehow this happens almost always, a small difference here or there.


The best case for the rebels is if the empire has neither Saleucami nor Corellia at all, and Mustafar is subjugated.
 
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Dawid Cichy
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Great job! That is very interesting compilation. Thanks!
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Kristo Vaher
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This game is balanced. And it is a really weird way how it achieves balance, which I'd like to call a 'red herring' effect.

Selection of Rebel Base does not matter. Anyone who says it does, is essentially focusing on a red herring - something that is actually misleading.

Why?

Because Rebellion is a game of action economy between deploying troops, battling and looking for the Rebellion base. The chance of Rebellion base being found easily or not is not due to the help from Drone deck. So Drone deck does not matter and the only thing that matters is actual exploration.

A game where rebel base is found easily, will likely end up in Imperial victory. A game where the opposite is true, will likely end up in Rebel victory.

But both of these conditions are balanced because of that red herring. Even if Rebel base is right next to you, it still takes actions to discover it. Will you check it? Maybe. Maybe not.

It becomes a game of 'which cup is poisoned' and this is why the game is balanced, because it seems like there's player choice, when it's actually more or less a dice roll.

Finding the best rebel base start location will not matter for the same reason. Say that you discover it and start using it? Imperials can still get to it pretty quickly, if they wish. Thus if it becomes more known as 'imbalanced', Imperials will start checking it sooner, removing the imbalance. Then another one emerges.

In the end it balances itself out and the only place where Rebel base location 'best location' charts matter is when you're playing against a beginner Imperial player.

Two experienced players? It's not at all about where the Rebel base is. It's about everything else.

Just my two cents
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Doug DeMoss
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Mon Calamari is also a red herring, IMO, except in the unusual case where the Rebels get it and the Empire does NOT get Saleucami. Otherwise, I would rather NOT have it at start.

Why? Because the Empire wants it anyway. I'd rather have a system that they may not get around to taking than one that they WILL take on turn 1 so that I never get the production.
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demoss1 wrote:
Mon Calamari is also a red herring, IMO, except in the unusual case where the Rebels get it and the Empire does NOT get Saleucami. Otherwise, I would rather NOT have it at start.

Why? Because the Empire wants it anyway. I'd rather have a system that they may not get around to taking than one that they WILL take on turn 1 so that I never get the production.


This does make sense, I would counter that If Mon Cal doesn't have Rebel loyalty the Empire should move in and gain loyalty themselves, giving them an extra star destroyer and not just a flimsy tie fighter every 3 turns.
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Mike Barry
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So, I like the general premise of this but I think that further weight needs to be given to the fact that the rebels are not building units anyplace adjacent. They are "counted" in the total production but the reality of which is that they are never actually produced.

If the Empire has Sal and Rebels Mon Cal, the Rebels dont really have a Blue Square and Blue Triangle on three, Imps have a Blue Triangle on 3. Which is an important distinction. (19 times out of 20 in that setup.)
 
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Stephen Venters
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jooice wrote:
From my perspetive, It is important which systems the empire gets as subjugated and which are loyal.


I agree. The Imperial Power of the Initial Systems takes this into account for its production values. Also, the Imperial Power after the First Build assumes all new systems are subjugated, as well.
 
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Stephen Venters
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Dashz wrote:
So, I like the general premise of this but I think that further weight needs to be given to the fact that the rebels are not building units anyplace adjacent. They are "counted" in the total production but the reality of which is that they are never actually produced.

If the Empire has Sal and Rebels Mon Cal, the Rebels dont really have a Blue Square and Blue Triangle on three, Imps have a Blue Triangle on 3. Which is an important distinction. (19 times out of 20 in that setup.)


Good idea. I added a "Balance Score" (0 to 10) that loosely indicates if the setup favors a strong Rebel start (0.0) or a strong Imperial start (10.0). It is weighted as thus:
Post Round 1 Production Power: 60%
Initial Rebel Systems with adjacent Imperial neighbors: 35%
Rebel has Mon Calamari initially but Empire doesn't have Saleucami at all (thus Mon Calamari is likely to produce at the end of the first round): 5%
 
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Stephen Venters
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demoss1 wrote:
Mon Calamari is also a red herring, IMO, except in the unusual case where the Rebels get it and the Empire does NOT get Saleucami. Otherwise, I would rather NOT have it at start.


The Rebels starting with Mon Calamari and the Empire NOT starting with Saleucami is a powerful position for the Rebels. It almost guarantees that the first build will result in a Cruiser and possibly 2 if the Rebels get Utapau, too.

There is a 17% chance of the this initial state (that's almost a 1 in 5 chance). Not bad.

I will say that otherwise, I agree that fighting over Mon Calamari is not a good use of actions. Especially after getting its initial build.
 
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Doug DeMoss
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Fighting over Mon Calamari itself isn't necessarily a good use of actions, but attacking Saleucami from there with the first Rebel action of the game can be.
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demoss1 wrote:
Fighting over Mon Calamari itself isn't necessarily a good use of actions, but attacking Saleucami from there with the first Rebel action of the game can be.


Yes, I have done so before, coupling the intention of producing there with trying to kill a Star Destroyer.

The Emperor himself opposed the battle and used the action card, my objective didn't work out well, so I retreated towards my base on the wookie homeworld.
I still produces from Mon Cal tho, since the Emperor's presence kept his fleet at bay.
Ofcourse if the Empire would have placed a few extra ships on Sal, I wouldn't have even attempted
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Elihu Feustel
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I don't see it as that big of an advantage for the rebels to have a cruiser (or two or three).

The down side of owning cruiser systems is that when your cruisers are on the board, your production quickly goes down. Compare to smaller ships/troops where you can produce a lot more of them.

The empire has adequate counters to cruiser production. With more R&D, it can plop Super Star Destroyers on the build queue, and leave them there until a big rebel fleet is located.
 
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Eric Engstrom
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If you want a very different setup experience, you could do what I did my first couple games when I misread the rules.


You draw 3 rebel systems, 3 imperial loyal systems and 2 imperial subjugated systems.

I was drawing straight from the probe deck and marking the first 3 populous sytems as rebel, the next 3 as imperial, and the next 2 as subjugated. Completely ignoring the faction icon.

Even though it was terribly wrong, I still find that those first few games were widely different in terms of board situation and decisions.

Perhaps something to try if you are getting bored with the standard setup. It leads to widely different board states.
 
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Stephen Venters
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bungeeboy wrote:
If you want a very different setup experience, you could do what I did my first couple games when I misread the rules.


You draw 3 rebel systems, 3 imperial loyal systems and 2 imperial subjugated systems.

I was drawing straight from the probe deck and marking the first 3 populous sytems as rebel, the next 3 as imperial, and the next 2 as subjugated. Completely ignoring the faction icon.

Even though it was terribly wrong, I still find that those first few games were widely different in terms of board situation and decisions.

Perhaps something to try if you are getting bored with the standard setup. It leads to widely different board states.


Fascinating! Worth a try!
 
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bungeeboy wrote:
If you want a very different setup experience, you could do what I did my first couple games when I misread the rules.


You draw 3 rebel systems, 3 imperial loyal systems and 2 imperial subjugated systems.

I was drawing straight from the probe deck and marking the first 3 populous sytems as rebel, the next 3 as imperial, and the next 2 as subjugated. Completely ignoring the faction icon.

Even though it was terribly wrong, I still find that those first few games were widely different in terms of board situation and decisions.

Perhaps something to try if you are getting bored with the standard setup. It leads to widely different board states.


I have thought of this too, but is it balanced?
 
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Fed Aykin

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Dashz wrote:
So, I like the general premise of this but I think that further weight needs to be given to the fact that the rebels are not building units anyplace adjacent. They are "counted" in the total production but the reality of which is that they are never actually produced.

If the Empire has Sal and Rebels Mon Cal, the Rebels dont really have a Blue Square and Blue Triangle on three, Imps have a Blue Triangle on 3. Which is an important distinction. (19 times out of 20 in that setup.)


What do you mean by "not building units anyplace adjacent" and "never actually produced"? Are you saying that you assume that the Rebels won't get to build in any system that has the Empire adjacent to it, because the Empire will run them out of there on turn one? If so, that makes sense to me.
 
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David Umstattd
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jooice wrote:
demoss1 wrote:
Mon Calamari is also a red herring, IMO, except in the unusual case where the Rebels get it and the Empire does NOT get Saleucami. Otherwise, I would rather NOT have it at start.

Why? Because the Empire wants it anyway. I'd rather have a system that they may not get around to taking than one that they WILL take on turn 1 so that I never get the production.


This does make sense, I would counter that If Mon Cal doesn't have Rebel loyalty the Empire should move in and gain loyalty themselves, giving them an extra star destroyer and not just a flimsy tie fighter every 3 turns.


I had a game where the empire took Mon Cal and the rebels took Corellia on the first turn 2 turns.

It was a weird game.
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David Umstattd
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ClimberStephen wrote:
demoss1 wrote:
Mon Calamari is also a red herring, IMO, except in the unusual case where the Rebels get it and the Empire does NOT get Saleucami. Otherwise, I would rather NOT have it at start.


The Rebels starting with Mon Calamari and the Empire NOT starting with Saleucami is a powerful position for the Rebels. It almost guarantees that the first build will result in a Cruiser and possibly 2 if the Rebels get Utapau, too.

There is a 17% chance of the this initial state (that's almost a 1 in 5 chance). Not bad.

I will say that otherwise, I agree that fighting over Mon Calamari is not a good use of actions. Especially after getting its initial build.


Mon cal isn't as good as everyone is saying because it produces on step 3 and runs out of figures fast. You can still lose real easy as the rebels even if you get your 3 cruisers really fast.
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David Umstattd
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jooice wrote:
demoss1 wrote:
Fighting over Mon Calamari itself isn't necessarily a good use of actions, but attacking Saleucami from there with the first Rebel action of the game can be.


Yes, I have done so before, coupling the intention of producing there with trying to kill a Star Destroyer.

The Emperor himself opposed the battle and used the action card, my objective didn't work out well, so I retreated towards my base on the wookie homeworld.
I still produces from Mon Cal tho, since the Emperor's presence kept his fleet at bay.
Ofcourse if the Empire would have placed a few extra ships on Sal, I wouldn't have even attempted


I had this almost exact same thing happen in one of my games. I had to blow "All According to my Design" early and both fleets were crippled in that region of space for much of the game due to the conflict.
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