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Subject: How balanced is each scenario? rss

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Lloyd
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I've now played through much but not all of the base game campaign and I'm a little concerned that there are some scenarios that seem to be heavily tilted in favour of either the Rebels of the Empire. From a longer story arc that makes sense, but it makes the individual scenario less interesting if it feels that you're meant to win or lose it before starting out; a 2 hour game is less fun if it's essetially pre-determined and you're just playing to set up the next scenario.

So, what I'm proposing is an entirely non-scientific poll...

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Lloyd
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PLEASE ONLY ENTER THE POLL IF YOUR GROUP FULFILLS THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

- It is the Rebel's first time playing through the scenario
- All players are of approximately equal experience (so no group of newbies vs. an overlord who has played 5 times and maxes everything out perfectly)

Poll contains some very light spoilers for the Rebel players but I can't put it in spoiler text as it makes it impossible to answer any of the questions. So consider yourself warned about spoilers.


NOTE THAT THE ORDERING FOR REBELS/IMPERIAL WIN SWAPS IN THE SIDE MISSIONS POLL.

Poll
1. Who won this mission?
  Imperial win Rebel win
Introduction: Aftermath
Story Mission 1: A New Threat
Story Mission 1: Under Siege
Story Mission 2: Imperial Hospitality
Story Mission 2: Fly Solo
Story Mission 3: Incoming
Story Mission 3: Drawn In
Story Mission 4: Chain of Command
Story Mission 4: The Source
Finale: Last Stand
Finale: Desperate Hour
2. Who won this side mission?
  Rebels win Imperial win
Fenn Sigris: Brushfire
Jyn Odan: High Moon
Gaarkhan: Indebted
Mak Eshk'rey: Loose Cannon
Gideon Argus: Old Friends
Diala Passil: Temptation
Ally: Homecoming
Ally: Sorry about the mess
Ally: Target of opportunity
Ally: The spice job
Reward: A simple task
Reward: Generous donations
Reward: Luxury cruise
Reward: Viper's den
Ally: Sympathy for the Rebellion
Forced: Captured
Forced: Impounded
Forced: Wanted
Imperial: Breaking Point
Imperial: Means of production
Villain: Dark Obsession
      747 answers
Poll created by sweetsweetdoughnuts


Poll
Did you read the 2 criteria before answering the above questions?
I did! And I met the criteria so I answered the questions
I did! And now this is the only question I'm allowed to answer
I did! And that doesn't really describe my group but I answered anyway because I'm kind of an ass
No. What criteria?
      552 answers
Poll created by sweetsweetdoughnuts


Thanks to Philip Rowland at teamcovenant.com for the mission names. Download his tracker at the link.
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Pasi Ojala
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Apparently the poll does not work inside the spoiler tags. Clicking on the poll hides it.

Btw, Gideon's Side mission is Friends of Old. Old Friends is a different thing in the game (but I now forgot which).

(We have 2 missions, 3 at most, still to play. I'll update the poll when we're finished.)
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Lloyd
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Yeah, I found that out too. Thanks for the heads up though.

Ah, I can't edit the poll. The error comes from the document I linked to that I was using to get the names of the missions.
 
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Joe Browes
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I'll add a supplementary question to put this exercise into context.

Question: Guess whose team failed the mission last night?

for correct answers!
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Pasi Ojala
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Interociter wrote:
Question: Guess whose team failed the mission last night?

One for me and one for them.

 
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Nathan
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Interociter wrote:
Ill add a supplementary question to put this exercise into context.

Question: Guess whose team failed the mission last night?

for correct answers!


Lloyd is taking it rather hard!
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Lloyd
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Interociter wrote:
Ill add a supplementary question to put this exercise into context.

Question: Guess whose team failed the mission last night?

for correct answers!


True, but I've actually been thinking of the question for a while now.
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Chris J Davis
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sweetsweetdoughnuts wrote:
I've now played through much but not all of the base game campaign and I'm a little concerned that there are some scenarios that seem to be heavily tilted in favour of either the Rebels of the Empire.



I was a playtester for this, so you're obviously talking nonsense.
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Jo Bartok
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bleached_lizard wrote:
sweetsweetdoughnuts wrote:
I've now played through much but not all of the base game campaign and I'm a little concerned that there are some scenarios that seem to be heavily tilted in favour of either the Rebels of the Empire.



I was a playtester for this, so you're obviously talking nonsense.


I wonder, I am not sure if you are allowed to speak about that, but my guess was that... there is a loser and a winner path for the missions and my idea was that if the rebels won a story mission the next story/finale mission would be on the winner path and thus a tad harder for them to win and vica versa if they lost it would be on the loser path and the next story mission would be a tad easier to win. No salt in this idea?

The other thing is: Are you sure the hard finale is tuned for like 50/50 ? Or is there a general balance (like 40/60 or 50/50, etc) and is that the same for all? or the same for all side missions, all "winner" and separate from that "loser" path missions? Etc... Really wondering.

To us 4xhero setup excluding Fenn and Gidon felt too easy aside Last Stand which was horribly hard.
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Stephan Wimmer
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Someone filled out the answers wrong IMHO.

To get to "Last Stand", the rebels have to win either "Chain of Command" or "The Source". In the poll, there are only 3 Rebel wins for "Chain of Command" and 0 Rebel wins for "The Source". However, there are 5 results for "Last Stand".

The other stuff checks out (or at least is possible).
 
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Lloyd
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It's entirely possible that someone (or some people) have made errors. It's also possible that people have dropped in and out of campaigns (as our group has) and so not everyone has played all scenarios.

Hopefully the results will end up being numerous enough that any errors can be made insignificant.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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I suppose someone may have just clicked on the wrong finale. If you click on the wrong finale / wrong radiobutton, and then notice that, you can't undo the click. You have to clear the answers and start over.
 
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Jo Bartok
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I think the form mixes winner and loser pathes back and forth.
Also it swaps Imperial and Rebels for the two questions.
Then a lot of people do this by mind - ex post.
 
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Zach Hillegas
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Interesting results here. It's good to see that some really difficult scenarios are indeed difficult, such as The Source. I've played Imp on that one twice now, and it was really hard to see how the Rebels could pull a win, given the outrageous amount of enemies, time limit, and number of actions required to escort the officer. I think it may be a little more doable if it didn't require healthy heroes to be around him, but alas.
 
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Jason Nopa
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I expect to see a lot of variation here.

The problem is that a big part of the Imperial advantage is knowing everything that will happen in the scenario with the Rebels only having knowledge that is given to them at key times.

There's no reasonable way to playtest scenarios like that and maintain complete balance without being able to mindwipe rebel players.

In addition, a lot of factors play in to how well rebels do such as:
1. party makeup (which heroes they took)
2. number of players and their playstyle (having less heroes means more activations and health per hero in the game)
3. when they encountered the mission in the campaign
4. what skills they've taken
5. what equipment they've bought
6. what the imperial player is using for their class
7. what agenda cards the imperial player has
8. what open groups the imperial player took
9. if the rebels took an ally
10. whether the players are playing the rules exactly the way they were written and intended

any and all of the above can drastically change the outcome of the mission. that's not to say that these metrics aren't interesting (they are)... but i do feel like they won't tell the whole story, and i think that's part of the experience of the game.

I don't think the game is supposed to be completely balanced, but i also don't think any single mission is completely unwinnable..
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Zach Hillegas
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rokkon wrote:
I expect to see a lot of variation here.

The problem is that a big part of the Imperial advantage is knowing everything that will happen in the scenario with the Rebels only having knowledge that is given to them at key times.

There's no reasonable way to playtest scenarios like that and maintain complete balance without being able to mindwipe rebel players.

In addition, a lot of factors play in to how well rebels do such as:
1. party makeup (which heroes they took)
2. number of players and their playstyle (having less heroes means more activations and health per hero in the game)
3. when they encountered the mission in the campaign
4. what skills they've taken
5. what equipment they've bought
6. what the imperial player is using for their class
7. what agenda cards the imperial player has
8. what open groups the imperial player took
9. if the rebels took an ally
10. whether the players are playing the rules exactly the way they were written and intended

any and all of the above can drastically change the outcome of the mission. that's not to say that these metrics aren't interesting (they are)... but i do feel like they won't tell the whole story, and i think that's part of the experience of the game.

I don't think the game is supposed to be completely balanced, but i also don't think any single mission is completely unwinnable..


This is true. It would be very hard to get exhaustive and thorough results for all of those factors. Boy, this must have been a fun one to playtest. I just played the Saboteurs ally mission as a Rebel player, and it was the first mission I did after Aftermath. It was pathetically easy, and it makes me wonder how different it may have been if it was later in the campaign where the threat was much higher. Also, some missions severely change depending on the ally. My Rebel players could have won a few missions if they didn't bring Chewie in, who shot the threat up by 15, often creating an unwinnable scenario. Just goes to show that allies aren't always the best choice.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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rokkon wrote:
I expect to see a lot of variation here.

I expect to see less variation due to getting the averages.

You also missed:
- How the dice roll.

Yes, all things you listed affect the result of an individual play of an individual mission. Averaging the variables shows us if a mission is balanced when "things are being equal". In reality things are never equal, but results near 50% show that the missions are not "unfairly biased" to favor one side or another.

In Drawn In the dice were on the rebel side, and I was down to 2 deployment cards. But then they forgot the objective for just an instant, I started to gather enough Threat, and then the dice started to roll for me.

In our previous two missions (Captured and Dark Obsession) the wins came to lacking one (1) movement point at the critical moment. And that snowballed to more or less not coming even close to winning the missions (Rebels in Captured, and me in Dark Obsession).

So, even when the missions feel like total steamrolls, the deciding factor may be small and happen much earlier.

I'll follow this poll with interest.
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Jo Bartok
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Well the dice roll stuff is very important in the early missions because what you gain there in terms of luck results into resources that you will utilize throughout the WHOLE game, overall if luck is spread well early it should not be an issue if it is a bid spiky mid campaign.
 
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Matthieu Plumettaz
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FYI, there might be some spoiler in which mission follow which mission in the following.

The polls don't have a huge amounts vote yet, but I guess we can already see some trend.

I must say that I'm a bit surprise about the following:
If the imperial player win 'hard' the first story mission, then the following mission is fly solo, which is "easier" for imperial (70%), which if they win goes to drawn in, which is "easier" for the imperial (77.8%), which if they win goes to the source, which is "easier" for the imperial (100%),... (and then I don't know because I didn't finish my campaign yet).

I'm quite surprise (and a bit disappointed) that the more the imperial player win, the easier the next mission is for the imperial player. I would expect the opposite, like the first mission. If the imperial player win Aftermath, then under siege comes which is easier for the rebels. If I play a campaign, I'd like all the missions to be challenging and balanced, and not become more and more one sided.

I'm the only one that it should be the other way around?
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damek wrote:
...
I'm the only one that it should be the other way around?

Another possibility is that in those campaigns, the Imperial player *is* the better player and so will naturally tend to win.

It is really difficult to determine though at this stage with such a small data source, and with so many factors affecting the games.
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damek wrote:
FYI, there might be some spoiler in which mission follow which mission in the following.


sweetsweetdoughnuts wrote:
Poll contains some very light spoilers for the Rebel players but I can't put it in spoiler text as it makes it impossible to answer any of the questions. So consider yourself warned about spoilers.
 
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andy mcglothlin
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I've played Loose Cannon twice and split between the imperials and rebels.

Interesting that no one has reported an Imperial win on Target of Oppurtunity. I've played that one once as Rebels. It's by far the most lopsided victory I have seen.

Should point out that after winning that as our first side mission we have brought the saboteurs into every mission since. They have been a very effective ally for a marginal threat increase. Our imperial doesn't seem to have a clear and effective plan for using that 5 threat (he likes probe droids, but that's a 5-3 initial edge for us when he does it).

Undersiege seems to favor the Rebels regardless, but I really liked having the extra bodies to clog up that building. Played with IP's LOS constantly, blocked movement and their blast ability was deadly in crowded hallways.
 
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Jo Bartok
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Interesting.. We bever used the saboteurs despite winning them.
 
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theredson wrote:

Should point out that after winning that as our first side mission we have brought the saboteurs into every mission since. They have been a very effective ally for a marginal threat increase.


We have also been using them in every mission and they've been very useful except
Spoiler (click to reveal)
for the latest mission we played which I think must have been Drawn In - you start surrounded by 2 squads of Stormtroopers with an E Wed and an elite Imperial Officer at the other end of the corridor. On our first activation would couldn't take out enough units to protect the Saboteurs and they both died on the Imperial players first activation.
 
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