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Subject: On the subject of Expansions and the "pre Planning" aspect of big Ships... rss

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Benjamin Tharin
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So i went through all the cards and tidbits that we know from Wave II and i saw that the imperial SD has a Command Value of 3 (so does also the Mon Calamari):

http://starwars-armada.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_Class_Star_De...

http://starwars-armada.wikia.com/wiki/Mon_Calamari_Cruiser_E...

The Relentless title allows it to reduce this by 1 in regards of the Command Dials you have to place to preplan.

I love the delayed play of Armada and i think it's a genius mechanic that adds so much to the game. I was hoping they would expand on this for the big ships and give us even something with 4 Command for instance. But the direction seems to be the other way, you can offset the drawbacks from planning already with some upgrade cards (change command dials) and it seems as even the big ships only get 3 command at maximum so far. So in the end it feels like the mechanic doesn't matter as much (as it should).

I'm not a big fan of this but was wondering what you guys think on the topic ?
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Ive only played twice but it doesnt bother me, it gives the Imperial players a little more flexibility.

 
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Benjamin Tharin
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Ive only played twice but it doesnt bother me, it gives the Imperial players a little more flexibility.



Not sure you understand what i mean. These are ships from the Wave II expansions and they are supposed to be bigger and clunkier than their smaller counterparts.

Especially with the Imperial SD it turns out it comes down to a command of a Nebulon B which is a bit... i don't know. Yes the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

Same really with the Gladiator title that allows you to fire after you moved. Sure, gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

Again i'm not saying they are bad upgrades to look forward, i think they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience that we have right now.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Benjamin, I did understand. You asked:
Quote:
I'm not a big fan of this but was wondering what you guys think on the topic ?


So I gave what I thought on the topic. For me it adds cool little things that will make ones fleet unique without breaking the game.

X-Wing does some of the same thing, some of the upgrades/pilot abilities etc allow the particular craft to do things out of order or extra times. That never bothered me.
 
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Benjamin Tharin
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Benjamin, I did understand. You asked:
Quote:
I'm not a big fan of this but was wondering what you guys think on the topic ?


So I gave what I thought on the topic. For me it adds cool little things that will make ones fleet unique without breaking the game.

X-Wing does some of the same thing, some of the upgrades/pilot abilities etc allow the particular craft to do things out of order or extra times. That never bothered me.


Can i ask, did you think the prices of these upgrades were balanced in X-Wing overall or to cheap / to expensive ?
 
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You can't really compare the cost of upgrades in this game. The mechanics are different enough there is no real good cross over and the point system is very different than X-Wing.

I think the upgrades are appropriately costed in Armada, though.
 
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Allen T
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Darkgalahad wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Ive only played twice but it doesnt bother me, it gives the Imperial players a little more flexibility.



Not sure you understand what i mean. These are ships from the Wave II expansions and they are supposed to be bigger and clunkier than their smaller counterparts.

Especially with the Imperial SD it turns out it comes down to a command of a Nebulon B which is a bit... i don't know. Yes the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

Same really with the Gladiator title that allows you to fire after you moved. Sure, gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

Again i'm not saying they are bad upgrades to look forward, i think they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience that we have right now.


It is also at the expense of taking up very powerful and useful upgrade slots. A ship that uses its officer to change commands will loose every time to a ship with appropriate commands and a better officer.
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Lance McMillan
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Darkgalahad wrote:
...the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

...gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

...they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience...


I both agree and disagree with you.

The purpose of the upgrade cards is (amongst other things) to allow an individual ship to deviate from the established conventions of the game (or even violate the rules outright) in some way. As long as the way those deviations are done in a way that doesn't "break" the game, I have no issue with that mechanism as a design element -- and in this case, I don't see that as being the case (since there are already ships/cards that incorporate those same features as a normal element).

The issue I do have is more one of design philosophy. To me, good game design is all about presenting the player with tough choices. In this case such a philosophy would be implemented in a game context with something along the lines of "if I take this ability, then I suffer this penalty." But in this situation we don't see that: the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship). X-Wing pretty much uses the same paradigm (e.g. there are no "ramifications" to your choice other than not being able to choose another card), but in that game the system works (but it's still, in my opinion, sub-optimal design) because there are so many other card options available to choose from. Now, that might change for Armada in the future as more cards become available, but at least for the moment that's not the case.
 
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Chris K.
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Darkgalahad wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Benjamin, I did understand. You asked:
Quote:
I'm not a big fan of this but was wondering what you guys think on the topic ?


So I gave what I thought on the topic. For me it adds cool little things that will make ones fleet unique without breaking the game.

X-Wing does some of the same thing, some of the upgrades/pilot abilities etc allow the particular craft to do things out of order or extra times. That never bothered me.


Can i ask, did you think the prices of these upgrades were balanced in X-Wing overall or to cheap / to expensive ?


Generally they are very appropriately priced. This shows in the very diverse nature of lists showing up at tournaments and being played successfully. While there are a number of strong combinations, there are very few that are considered strong because they are too cheap. They are generally strong because they have good synergies.

There are however some upgrades and abilities that are considered very weak to the point of feeling overcosted. Ordnance upgrades for instance are rarely worth the cost.
 
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Chris K.
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
...the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

...gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

...they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience...


I both agree and disagree with you.

The purpose of the upgrade cards is (amongst other things) to allow an individual ship to deviate from the established conventions of the game (or even violate the rules outright) in some way. As long as the way those deviations are done in a way that doesn't "break" the game, I have no issue with that mechanism as a design element -- and in this case, I don't see that as being the case (since there are already ships/cards that incorporate those same features as a normal element).

The issue I do have is more one of design philosophy. To me, good game design is all about presenting the player with tough choices. In this case such a philosophy would be implemented in a game context with something along the lines of "if I take this ability, then I suffer this penalty." But in this situation we don't see that: the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship). X-Wing pretty much uses the same paradigm (e.g. there are no "ramifications" to your choice other than not being able to choose another card), but in that game it work (other it's still, in my opinion, sub-optimal design) because there are so many other card options available to choose from. Now, that might change for Armada in the future as more cards become available, but at least for the moment that's not the case.


You point out the biggest argument yourself: In X-Wing, now after 6 waves, there are a lot of cards for each slot. In Wave one the choice was very, very limited as well. For instance for a LONG time there was only one Type of Torpedo available.

Right now the officer slot has 4 options to choose from. 1 each unique and 2 generic. With wave one there is another generic one and another 2 uniques for the rebels. So there is already some competition.

Also each officer is not just in competition with the other two options available at the moment but all the other similarly costed upgrades. Admittedly currently there are only very few "Filler"-Type upgrades costing less than 5 points.
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
...the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

...gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

...they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience...


I both agree and disagree with you.

The purpose of the upgrade cards is (amongst other things) to allow an individual ship to deviate from the established conventions of the game (or even violate the rules outright) in some way. As long as the way those deviations are done in a way that doesn't "break" the game, I have no issue with that mechanism as a design element -- and in this case, I don't see that as being the case (since there are already ships/cards that incorporate those same features as a normal element).

The issue I do have is more one of design philosophy. To me, good game design is all about presenting the player with tough choices. In this case such a philosophy would be implemented in a game context with something along the lines of "if I take this ability, then I suffer this penalty." But in this situation we don't see that: the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship). X-Wing pretty much uses the same paradigm (e.g. there are no "ramifications" to your choice other than not being able to choose another card), but in that game the system works (but it's still, in my opinion, sub-optimal design) because there are so many other card options available to choose from. Now, that might change for Armada in the future as more cards become available, but at least for the moment that's not the case.


As Chris pointed out, all we have is the core set. Still, picking "Version 1 or 2" of a ship does carry ramification, even in addition to point cost, at this stage. You'll want as many blue dice as possible for Dodonnacrits, for example, which then limits the range and flying choices of your CR90. Likewise adding an upgrade with a crit effect means you won't be dealing as many face up damage cards.
Still, we need to remember Wave 1 will bring many, many more options to our fleet-building!
 
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monkeykins wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
...the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

...gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

...they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience...


I both agree and disagree with you.

The purpose of the upgrade cards is (amongst other things) to allow an individual ship to deviate from the established conventions of the game (or even violate the rules outright) in some way. As long as the way those deviations are done in a way that doesn't "break" the game, I have no issue with that mechanism as a design element -- and in this case, I don't see that as being the case (since there are already ships/cards that incorporate those same features as a normal element).

The issue I do have is more one of design philosophy. To me, good game design is all about presenting the player with tough choices. In this case such a philosophy would be implemented in a game context with something along the lines of "if I take this ability, then I suffer this penalty." But in this situation we don't see that: the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship). X-Wing pretty much uses the same paradigm (e.g. there are no "ramifications" to your choice other than not being able to choose another card), but in that game the system works (but it's still, in my opinion, sub-optimal design) because there are so many other card options available to choose from. Now, that might change for Armada in the future as more cards become available, but at least for the moment that's not the case.


As Chris pointed out, all we have is the core set. Still, picking "Version 1 or 2" of a ship does carry ramification, even in addition to point cost, at this stage. You'll want as many blue dice as possible for Dodonnacrits, for example, which then limits the range and flying choices of your CR90. Likewise adding an upgrade with a crit effect means you won't be dealing as many face up damage cards.
Still, we need to remember Wave 1 will bring many, many more options to our fleet-building!


Just rechecked with X-Wing: Even the Elite Talent slot, which is arguably one of the most versatile slots in X-Wing at the moment with 24 cards for it only had 2 options in the core set and another 3 in wave 1 (1 unique).

 
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chrisdk wrote:
In X-Wing, now after 6 waves, there are a lot of cards for each slot. In Wave one the choice was very, very limited as well.


You're missing my point. Having more upgrade options available is only the most simplistic "solution" to the problem (and one which, in my opinion, is indicative of FFG's rather lazy approach to design). There are no real trade offs involved, no potentially negative ramifications to taking an upgrade which, say, improves your mobility at the expense of your firepower or your protections -- it's all simply a matter of where you allocate your build points to upgrade your ship(s).

Look to the historical case of how Dreadnoughts were designed. You could build a heavily armed and well protected warship, but its speed would suffer; conversely you could build a heavily armed warship that was fast, but its armor would be deficient. There were trade offs involved: when you enhanced one feature of a ship's design you necessarily had to sacrifice in other areas. We don't see anything approaching that level of sophisticated thinking in Armada or X-Wing because FFG is pandering to video game generation customers. We're talking kids for whom strategic thinking is anathema because of their constant demand for instant gratification: "I paid my 5 points, now give me my buff!"

Yawn. snore
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Lancer4321 wrote:

...the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship).


I think that you are over simplifying. Sure, I can choose between Card A or Card B. But I could also choose Card C, for this other ship. Or some extra TIE Fighters. Or, I could choose to take nothing, and gain the initiative advantage. (I hope)

As well, remember that this is only the base set. I'm planning to buy the same three ships again, (maybe not the blockade runner) just for the additional options that I will receive.

And, in the spirit of the thread: I really, REALLY wanted the ISD to have a command value of 6, and be unthinkably powerful. Unfortunately, with all the options to change dials, that wouldn't work out as well I as might have hoped. (also, they didn't do it)
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Benjamin Tharin
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
...the imperial player gains flexibility at the expense of a very unique game mechanism.

...gives you flexibility but it messed with the gamesystem again. I'm not sure how i should feel about that.

...they shouldn't touch these mechanics at all to keep the streamlined gaming experience...


I both agree and disagree with you.

The purpose of the upgrade cards is (amongst other things) to allow an individual ship to deviate from the established conventions of the game (or even violate the rules outright) in some way. As long as the way those deviations are done in a way that doesn't "break" the game, I have no issue with that mechanism as a design element -- and in this case, I don't see that as being the case (since there are already ships/cards that incorporate those same features as a normal element).

The issue I do have is more one of design philosophy. To me, good game design is all about presenting the player with tough choices. In this case such a philosophy would be implemented in a game context with something along the lines of "if I take this ability, then I suffer this penalty." But in this situation we don't see that: the only "choice" is whether you spend your build points to buy Card A or Card B (and generally speaking, that's about it since since FFG only gives you two cards to choose from for each ship). X-Wing pretty much uses the same paradigm (e.g. there are no "ramifications" to your choice other than not being able to choose another card), but in that game the system works (but it's still, in my opinion, sub-optimal design) because there are so many other card options available to choose from. Now, that might change for Armada in the future as more cards become available, but at least for the moment that's not the case.


Very good points, and i kinda agree. Now that you mention it a good thing would be in the example of that Title Card for the ISD that your command would decrease by 1 tied with all the positive and negative effects (getting less tokens). You're right the only cost you have are points. It's getting offtopic now but i like systems like in mech warrior where the cost was not only points or money but also higher requirements, quicker overheating, weight etc. Still, in the end it's besides the point and nice to have.

My original issue is still that i would love to have the emphasis on this cool game mechanic and that it seems to be to easy to get around it.
 
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Chris K.
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Lancer4321 wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
In X-Wing, now after 6 waves, there are a lot of cards for each slot. In Wave one the choice was very, very limited as well.


You're missing my point. Having more upgrade options available is only the most simplistic "solution" to the problem (and one which, in my opinion, is indicative of FFG's rather lazy approach to design). There are no real trade offs involved, no potentially negative ramifications to taking an upgrade which, say, improves your mobility at the expense of your firepower or your protections -- it's all simply a matter of where you allocate your build points to upgrade your ship(s).

Look to the historical case of how Dreadnoughts were designed. You could build a heavily armed and well protected warship, but its speed would suffer; conversely you could build a heavily armed warship that was fast, but its armor would be deficient. There were trade offs involved: when you enhanced one feature of a ship's design you necessarily had to sacrifice in other areas. We don't see anything approaching that level of sophisticated thinking in Armada or X-Wing because FFG is pandering to video game generation customers. We're talking kids for whom strategic thinking is anathema because of their constant demand for instant gratification: "I paid my 5 points, now give me my buff!"

Yawn. snore


Well, then you are merely changing the base line.

Mechanically it is very much the same whether I say "here is my base line model, now I have to choose which upgrades (if any) I apply to improve it" or whether I have a fully tricked out ship with all upgrade slots filled and now have to "sacrifice abilities to gain other abilities".

Of course they could say "Each Vic 2 Star Destroyer comes with 'H9 Turbolasers' and costs a total of XX" and then leave it up to you to "make a trade off" in removing them to include "Enhanced Armament" instead.

So, am I still missing your point?

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Lancer4321 wrote:
We don't see anything approaching that level of sophisticated thinking in Armada or X-Wing because FFG is pandering to video game generation customers. We're talking kids for whom strategic thinking is anathema because of their constant demand for instant gratification: "I paid my 5 points, now give me my buff!"

Yawn. snore


This is absurd. You absolutely DO have trade-offs with every single ship, squad, and upgrade you pick, apparently simply not the ones you want. That you get it from picking a different ship, and cannot build the entire ship from the ground up, IS a design choice, and is part of being a miniature game. Want a slower, more heavily armored ship? Take a Victory. Want smaller, faster, more manuverable ships? CR90.
 
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Benjamin Tharin
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JgzMan wrote:

And, in the spirit of the thread: I really, REALLY wanted the ISD to have a command value of 6, and be unthinkably powerful. Unfortunately, with all the options to change dials, that wouldn't work out as well I as might have hoped. (also, they didn't do it)


6 is a bit steep, but hey give us 4 at least that would be cool !
 
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Darkgalahad wrote:
JgzMan wrote:

And, in the spirit of the thread: I really, REALLY wanted the ISD to have a command value of 6, and be unthinkably powerful. Unfortunately, with all the options to change dials, that wouldn't work out as well I as might have hoped. (also, they didn't do it)


6 is a bit steep, but hey give us 4 at least that would be cool !


Games are only 6 rounds long. With 3 Command, you are already planning half the battle before a single ship has even moved.
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monkeykins wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
JgzMan wrote:

And, in the spirit of the thread: I really, REALLY wanted the ISD to have a command value of 6, and be unthinkably powerful. Unfortunately, with all the options to change dials, that wouldn't work out as well I as might have hoped. (also, they didn't do it)


6 is a bit steep, but hey give us 4 at least that would be cool !


Games are only 6 rounds long. With 3 Command, you are already planning half the battle before a single ship has even moved.


And that's a bad thing ?

Why is the ISD nimbler than a normal star destroyer with the title ?

So in your opinion it's fine that bigger ships only differ in point cost and bigger bases, one of the core mechanics, the delay planning should not be affected ?



 
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Darkgalahad wrote:
monkeykins wrote:
Darkgalahad wrote:
JgzMan wrote:

And, in the spirit of the thread: I really, REALLY wanted the ISD to have a command value of 6, and be unthinkably powerful. Unfortunately, with all the options to change dials, that wouldn't work out as well I as might have hoped. (also, they didn't do it)


6 is a bit steep, but hey give us 4 at least that would be cool !


Games are only 6 rounds long. With 3 Command, you are already planning half the battle before a single ship has even moved.


And that's a bad thing ?

Why is the ISD nimbler than a normal star destroyer with the title ?

So in your opinion it's fine that bigger ships only differ in point cost and bigger bases, one of the core mechanics, the delay planning should not be affected ?





The command stack does not show "nimbleness" but command efficiency. If you'd like I could probably make up half a dozen reason why they may differ or be the same. From "Only the best officers and NCOs make it to ISDs" via "ISDs have better C&C technology implemented" to "Doctrine on the ships differs and allows ISDs to be as responsive as smaller crews".

So, since fluff does not make a difference, game balance does. One thing that would bother me would be that if I am playing ISDs with larger command stacks I would have even fewer rounds where I still make meaningful decisions for my command stack rather than just the last 2. Also a larger command stack would allow them to store even more command tokens ...
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Benjamin Tharin
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chrisdk wrote:


The command stack does not show "nimbleness" but command efficiency. If you'd like I could probably make up half a dozen reason why they may differ or be the same. From "Only the best officers and NCOs make it to ISDs" via "ISDs have better C&C technology implemented" to "Doctrine on the ships differs and allows ISDs to be as responsive as smaller crews".

So, since fluff does not make a difference, game balance does. One thing that would bother me would be that if I am playing ISDs with larger command stacks I would have even fewer rounds where I still make meaningful decisions for my command stack rather than just the last 2. Also a larger command stack would allow them to store even more command tokens ...


I didn't mean nimbleness sorry, the correct term is indeed command effectiveness i guess.

Your second argument is what i'm looking for, you're actually answering what i'd like to discuss and you make a good point. If i follow your train of thought i think Command 2 for the ISD is still a bit silly.
 
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There are all sorts of trade offs. The dominator title for the victory is 12 points, or 1/6th the cost of a VSD-1. The demolisher title for the gladiator is 10 pts, again 1/6th the cost of a GSD-2. We're talking an extra TIE interceptor.

If I trick out a GSD-2 with Wulf, Gunnery Team, Engine Techs, Expanded Launchers, and the Demolisher title, it comes to 107 pts. That's almost the cost of two GSD-1s! (112 pts).

Yeah there is no mech warrior heat trade offs, bt then you're talking about complicating a game that has gone to great lengths to pack a lot in and keep as streamlined rules as possible. I think you're talking about wanting something closer to a simulation, and not a fleet game.
 
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tranenturm wrote:
There are all sorts of trade offs. The dominator title for the victory is 12 points, or 1/6th the cost of a VSD-1. The demolished title for the gladiator is 10 pts, again 1/6th the cost of a GSD-2. We're talking an extra TIE interceptor.

If I trick out a GSD-2 with Wulf, Gunnery Team, Engine Techs, Expanded Launchers, and the Demolished title, it comes to 107 pts. That's almost the cost of two GSD-1s! (112 pts).

Yeah there is no mech warrior heat trade offs, bt then you're talking about complicating a game that has gone to great lengths to pack a lot in and keep as streamlined rules as possible. I think you're talking about wanting something closer to a simulation, and not a fleet game.


You're absolutely right but that was also not my initial point i wanted to discuss.
My topic is about the delayed mechanic and that the ISD will have 3 command, respectively 2 with the title. Same goes for the Large rebel Ship. The only difference seems to be the size of the base (and probably increased cost)
 
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Darkgalahad wrote:
tranenturm wrote:
There are all sorts of trade offs. The dominator title for the victory is 12 points, or 1/6th the cost of a VSD-1. The demolished title for the gladiator is 10 pts, again 1/6th the cost of a GSD-2. We're talking an extra TIE interceptor.

If I trick out a GSD-2 with Wulf, Gunnery Team, Engine Techs, Expanded Launchers, and the Demolished title, it comes to 107 pts. That's almost the cost of two GSD-1s! (112 pts).

Yeah there is no mech warrior heat trade offs, bt then you're talking about complicating a game that has gone to great lengths to pack a lot in and keep as streamlined rules as possible. I think you're talking about wanting something closer to a simulation, and not a fleet game.


You're absolutely right but that was also not my initial point i wanted to discuss.
My topic is about the delayed mechanic and that the ISD will have 3 command, respectively 2 with the title. Same goes for the Large rebel Ship. The only difference seems to be the size of the base (and probably increased cost)


And the weapons, and the shields, and the hull points, and the squadron value, and the Anti-Squadron armament and presumably the upgrade slots ..

I am not sure I understand what you are getting at, but yes, in terms of that one value, there is no visible difference for these specific types of ships. I don't see any reason why command points should be tied to ship size class.

It does not mean that we won't see other ships of this class with higher or lower command values down the line. It merely means that for these two waves we don't see them yet.

Edit: Also I believe your thread has been hijacked a bit for the "Armada has no meaningful trade offs" discussion, which should probably be taken into a separate thread if it is meant to be continued. Sorry for my part in that.
 
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