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Subject: Ion Canon vs Shield Generator rss

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jooice ZP
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So the Ion canon causes the opponent not to throw 2 dice - kind of like a shield....

The shield generator just gives you an extra card, which is nice and all, I guess some of those cards offer defense.

So besides these 2 units seeming to be flipped in purpose then what their name would suggest, neither of them offer any actual attack.

So is their main ability to be a heavy hard to kill unit on your base for when the empire is trying to destroy it?




p.s
I know one of you will want to say that when the Ion canon fired at the star destroyer in empire, it seemed to stun it, and not actually damage it.
 
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Dennis de Vries
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I think indeed their main ability is being a hard to kill unit: you can't do it with just stormtroopers (unless they have the right tactic cards, of course).

And they give a benefit. And I think those are really nice benefits:

- getting a tactic card every ground battle (so if you're unable to retreat, you at least get 1 new tactic card at the start of every ground battle). That card could be defense, or giving some morale to the units to do better in combat...? Because they are still protected by the shield?

- I believe dice are capped at 5 red and 5 black. I think after the dice are known, only then the ion cannon takes effect (because of the 'during' in the text, instead of 'at the start' seen at the shield generator). So there's a maximum of 3 red dice for the Empire. And yes: I think it simulates the 'Star Destroyer not being able to shoot' well. And rebel transports are only affected by red dice...

(Of course we need to know the rules regarding the ion cannon benefit)

In my opinion FFG gave a nice thematically effect to those structures.
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Witold G
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jooice wrote:
neither of them offer any actual attack.

So is their main ability to be a heavy hard to kill unit on your base for when the empire is trying to destroy it?


I think it's a mistake thinking about their abilities in strict "defence" or "hard to kill" categories, if that's what you mean.

Ion Cannon:
It might protect your fighters long enough for them to make a successful attack against a Death Star.
If the "minus 2 red dice" effect is applied after 5 dice cap, then 3 Ion Cannons would mean the heavy firepower of Empire ships being completely nullified - definitely helping with your space attack overall.

Shield Generator:
Tactic cards are actually quite varied, some of them give you additional damage points, some of them allow to reroll some dice (definitely helping with your attack), some of them make your damage unblockable (so again, your attack is much more efficient).
1 Shield might be not that helpful, but if you drop 3 of them in your base, that means 3 additional tactic cards each battle step!
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jooice ZP
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Perf wrote:

If the "minus 2 red dice" effect is applied after 5 dice cap, then 3 Ion Cannons would mean the heavy firepower of Empire ships being completely nullified - definitely helping with your space attack overall.


This is definitely a good point.


I was going to say:
From a thematic point tho, the shield generator was THE OBJECTIVE for the AT-AT invasion. It would seem that it should be more important.

However, if you look at it as the toughest Rebel Ground unit, then in fact it is rather important.


Perhaps the importance of destroying the shield generator was so that Vader could land on Hoth, although he really didn't do anything once he did - was he trying to capture Luke?
Essentially the moment the Ion canon fired and the first rebel transport got away the Empire failed at their objective. if that was the case, why did Vader land?
 
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jooice wrote:
Perhaps the importance of destroying the shield generator was so that Vader could land on Hoth, although he really didn't do anything once he did - was he trying to capture Luke?
Essentially the moment the Ion canon fired and the first rebel transport got away the Empire failed at their objective. if that was the case, why did Vader land?




YOU need to read this article:

http://www.wired.com/2013/02/battle-of-hoth/
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Thomas F
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Yeah, I agree that the flavor of these units seems a little odd, especially when I think they nailed the flavor of just about every other unit.

In my opinion, I agree with you that the Shield Generator should be the one that makes your opponent lose dice on a roll.

It might be cool if the ion canon contributed dice to the space roll, but was vulnerable only during the ground roll. Would be a little more thematic.
 
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Dave Weiss
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Perf wrote:
jooice wrote:
neither of them offer any actual attack.

So is their main ability to be a heavy hard to kill unit on your base for when the empire is trying to destroy it?


I think it's a mistake thinking about their abilities in strict "defence" or "hard to kill" categories, if that's what you mean.

Ion Cannon:
It might protect your fighters long enough for them to make a successful attack against a Death Star.
If the "minus 2 red dice" effect is applied after 5 dice cap, then 3 Ion Cannons would mean the heavy firepower of Empire ships being completely nullified - definitely helping with your space attack overall.

Shield Generator:
Tactic cards are actually quite varied, some of them give you additional damage points, some of them allow to reroll some dice (definitely helping with your attack), some of them make your damage unblockable (so again, your attack is much more efficient).
1 Shield might be not that helpful, but if you drop 3 of them in your base, that means 3 additional tactic cards each battle step!


I'm pretty confident they aren't going to allow stacking of ions or shields. There is likely a rule that allows only 1 of each per planet. 3 ions and you make Imp capital ships nearly worthless. Stack a bunch of shields and you have a never ending supply of tactic cards for the ground assault. Those cards can reduce damage, give free damage, etc. 3 of each and you'd basically be unstoppable.
 
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Dave Weiss
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cawatrooper9 wrote:
Yeah, I agree that the flavor of these units seems a little odd, especially when I think they nailed the flavor of just about every other unit.

In my opinion, I agree with you that the Shield Generator should be the one that makes your opponent lose dice on a roll.

It might be cool if the ion canon contributed dice to the space roll, but was vulnerable only during the ground roll. Would be a little more thematic.


Ion Cannon is shot at capital ships in orbit to reduce their effectiveness. It has an EMP like effect. Capital ships mainly contribute red dice to space combat.

The shield on Hoth protects the base. It doesn't protect the units defending the base, just the base. The snowspeeders, the defensive line, the units in the trenches, and the defensive turrets were all vulnerable to the AT-ATs and AT-STs. They were all getting killed while the shield was still up. It didn't reduce their combat power in any way.
What is at the base? The commander who is giving orders. The people in charge that are providing tactical knowledge to the troops. Leaders in this game give you tactic cards to use in combat. The shield keeps the base/HQ operating longer as it's protected. This gives the leader more time to issue more orders, provide more tactical knowledge.

I honestly think they are pretty thematic.
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Jeremy Steward
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Ion Cannon is thematic as it shutting down the offense of the ships in space as it did in the movie.

The shield generator is a bit more abstract since thematically, all the shield generator does is protect vs orbital bombardment (Hence the ground assault). So, here i think it was a gameplay vs thematic conflict - they needed a building to help the ground battle so they decided to gove the effect to the shield generator.

I thought this topic would be about the strategic merit of the cannon vs shield generator. I think the shield generator is more important, even tho the ion is pretty strong.
 
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Witold G
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kmanweiss wrote:
I'm pretty confident they aren't going to allow stacking of ions or shields. There is likely a rule that allows only 1 of each per planet. 3 ions and you make Imp capital ships nearly worthless. Stack a bunch of shields and you have a never ending supply of tactic cards for the ground assault. Those cards can reduce damage, give free damage, etc. 3 of each and you'd basically be unstoppable.


Both generator and cannon are balanced by the fact that they're unmovable, so while they're certainly very useful, they cannot be used for strictly offensive purposes. And the rebel base is only limited to seven units, anything more than that and it's easier to detect, so you cannot just stack generator/cannons from the start. Well, I guess someone could try super heavy ground defence strategy... but as soon as Empire player notices that, he'll probably switch to "let's deathstar the rebels from the orbit" strategy.

Also, there are only few systems that can build heavy ground units (only three, if I'm not mistaken, with one of them being right next to Coruscant).

Of course, it's mostly conjecture on my part until we see full rules.
 
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jooice ZP
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Deadwolf wrote:


The shield generator is a bit more abstract since thematically, all the shield generator does is protect vs orbital bombardment (Hence the ground assault). So, here i think it was a gameplay vs thematic conflict - they needed a building to help the ground battle so they decided to gove the effect to the shield generator.

I thought this topic would be about the strategic merit of the cannon vs shield generator. I think the shield generator is more important, even tho the ion is pretty strong.



Perhaps the shield generator could have allowed to draw a space tactic card, or a choice between the 2.
maybe once we know all the ground tactic cards this choice will make more sense.
 
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Jeremy Steward
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jooice wrote:
Deadwolf wrote:


The shield generator is a bit more abstract since thematically, all the shield generator does is protect vs orbital bombardment (Hence the ground assault). So, here i think it was a gameplay vs thematic conflict - they needed a building to help the ground battle so they decided to gove the effect to the shield generator.

I thought this topic would be about the strategic merit of the cannon vs shield generator. I think the shield generator is more important, even tho the ion is pretty strong.



Perhaps the shield generator could have allowed to draw a space tactic card, or a choice between the 2.
maybe once we know all the ground tactic cards this choice will make more sense.


Well, to me, it is obvious that they wanted 2 buildings - one to assist space battles and the other to assist ground battles. They decided to make the ground assist building the shield generator, even tho thematically it doesnt make the most sense.
 
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David Umstattd
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People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.
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Jeremy Steward
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David Umstattd wrote:
People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.


I think you need to brush up if you think that a planetary shield generator is for assisting ground troops.
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Nicholas Palmer
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Deadwolf wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:
People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.


I think you need to brush up if you think that a planetary shield generator is for assisting ground troops.


Actually, it kind of did. The reason the battle took as long as it did is that the Empire couldn't land directly at it, but had to land further away with troops and move up to it. Which meant more time, which meant more time to plan for the approach.
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Jeremy Steward
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
Deadwolf wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:
People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.


I think you need to brush up if you think that a planetary shield generator is for assisting ground troops.


Actually, it kind of did. The reason the battle took as long as it did is that the Empire couldn't land directly at it, but had to land further away with troops and move up to it. Which meant more time, which meant more time to plan for the approach.


I'll buy that, but the primary reason for the shield generator was to protect against orbital bombardment.
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Scott Lewis
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Deadwolf wrote:
Touchfuzzy wrote:
Deadwolf wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:
People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.


I think you need to brush up if you think that a planetary shield generator is for assisting ground troops.


Actually, it kind of did. The reason the battle took as long as it did is that the Empire couldn't land directly at it, but had to land further away with troops and move up to it. Which meant more time, which meant more time to plan for the approach.


I'll buy that, but the primary reason for the shield generator was to protect against orbital bombardment.

Bombardment and direct invasion. Maybe primarily the former (since that was potentially more devastating), but they couldn't even land troops with the shield there (other than what was probably in the AT-ATs).
 
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David Umstattd
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Deadwolf wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:
People who think these units aren't thematic need to brush up on their star wars lore.


I think you need to brush up if you think that a planetary shield generator is for assisting ground troops.


It did. The planetary shield protected the ground troops from orbital bombardment and more importantly forced the empire to land far away from the rebel base and march towards it so the rebels had every opportunity to prepare and assault the attackers.

I can't imagine how a shield generator unit could do anything other than what it does in this game. I suppose the only way you could possibly make it more thematic is if it also made the rebel player immune to the orbital bombardment card.
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Private Blinky
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For this game, the shield generator could of been designed to function exactly like the ion cannon (roll 2 less red dice), but only affect the ground combat. It would of been the more accurate representation of having such a device in a combat situation (using a shield to reduce casualties, who knew?) but my suspicion is that this function was playtested out, and the substitute ability of drawing a ground tactic card was put in. Since the dice roller assigns hits to the opponent, a final battle at the rebel base could easily give the rebels too much power if the ground forces were only left with three red dice to roll for the rest of the battle. The limiting of dice in a space battle is not as punishing, as the imperial player doesn't have to worry about achieving victory within the space zone when assaulting the rebel base's system to win the game, only succeed at the ground battle itself ( the imperial player may just have to choose to sacrifice their fleet in order to get the best chance at capturing the base when they can)
 
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David Umstattd
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PrivateBlinky wrote:
For this game, the shield generator could of been designed to function exactly like the ion cannon (roll 2 less red dice), but only affect the ground combat. It would of been the more accurate representation of having such a device in a combat situation (using a shield to reduce casualties, who knew?) but my suspicion is that this function was playtested out, and the substitute ability of drawing a ground tactic card was put in. Since the dice roller assigns hits to the opponent, a final battle at the rebel base could easily give the rebels too much power if the ground forces were only left with three red dice to roll for the rest of the battle. The limiting of dice in a space battle is not as punishing, as the imperial player doesn't have to worry about achieving victory within the space zone when assaulting the rebel base's system to win the game, only succeed at the ground battle itself ( the imperial player may just have to choose to sacrifice their fleet in order to get the best chance at capturing the base when they can)


Once again. You guys REALLY need to brush up on your star wars lore if you're going to critique the theme in this game. It's starting to get embarrassing.

Nowhere in the film do we see the shield generator protecting the ground troops from the attacking forces. The shield generator's purpose was to force the enemy transport ships to land far away from the base and protect from bombardment. That is all. There is nothing in the films that implies that the sheild generator provides any protection from ground forces. In fact in the film we see the AT-ATs make short work of the generator once they get in range to attack. Once the generator is destroyed the empire is able to land troops directly into the battle.

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Yan P.
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I agree that the shield generator is weakly themed. Ideally, it would prevent orbital bombardment and force a ground invasion, such as the battle of Hoth. However, orbital bombardment is a specific space tactic card, so that's not going to work.

As far as ideas go, 1 ground tactic/round seems a bit weak, but I can't really think of a better idea.
 
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David, let's get this settled once and for all. Did I ever dispute in my discussion what the movies had demonstrated? In your context, you are referring to the Shield Generators as they take place in the movies. I was speaking of how the Shield Generators are represented in the game. This is quite the distinction, because it has been made apparent time and time again:

THIS GAME IS NOT MEANT AS AN EXACT REPRESENTATION OF EVENTS CHARACTERS AND COMPONENTS IN THE STAR WARS TRILOGY

There are quite a number of changes to implement whatever FFG wanted to put in the game. Lore of the source material will sometimes have to be adjusted for a different medium for a variety of purposes, and in this particular case, no one knows how similar or distinct the Shield Generator operate within the lore of the game itself.

In the OT, You saw one battle with the Hoth-style shield generators, are you negligent enough to suspect that every single battle across the galaxy that involves shield generators will play out exactly as it did in that one single scene? Do you not think that in other battles a defending force would automatically engage units as they pass through an energy shield or force field? Do you really think that there IS NO ABOSLUTE CHANCE WHATSOEVER that there might of been the choice that the output of a shield generator would be modified to create a full perimeter barrier? You do see a shield generator of an earlier construction age do exactly that within the events of Episode 1. And you say so yourself, that the only reason the Rebels were dying in the Battle on Hoth was because the Imperial Units fighting them WERE ALREADY INSIDE THE PERIMITER OF THE SHIELD. Just because you never see combat on Hoth that shows the shield protecting the Rebels from ground fire DOES NOT EXCLUDE the possibility that there was shield coverage on the ground to begin with.

All this is moot however because of my prior point; stuff we see in the board game may bear a similar appearance to what we have seen in the films, but it dose not mean that everything behaves in this game exactly the same way as what the Original Trilogy showed us.
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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Everything in the game is based off something in the original movies. Sure, battles with shield generators wouldn't happen like that every time, BUT as it draws you a different tactic card everytime, it is in fact providing a different beneficial effect for every battle.
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jooice ZP
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Xatham wrote:
I agree that the shield generator is weakly themed. Ideally, it would prevent orbital bombardment and force a ground invasion, such as the battle of Hoth. However, orbital bombardment is a specific space tactic card, so that's not going to work.

As far as ideas go, 1 ground tactic/round seems a bit weak, but I can't really think of a better idea.


I realize that their intention was probably to give assistance to the ground battle. This idea does not help that.

However from a thematic point of view, if the shield generator (SG) prevents space bombardment, and space bombardment is a space tactic card.
It would make sense to me that the SG would be able to prevent 1 space tactic card a turn/round/battle.

I realize this might not be balanced (in either direction), but thematically it makes sense.


The SG could also prevent deploying of some ground troops, perhaps each shield generator would do a minus 2 on the number of ground troops deployed.

Again i am just suggesting ideas thematically, not variants to a game I have not seen/played.
 
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Yan P.
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Well, thematically the shield does nothing for fleets, just protects the ground base - so removing space tactics doesn't really make sense.

There's not much else that can be done with it than what's already done.

My main problem with it - there's no way the shield generators are going to be a high-value target for the Empire, because while one tactic card might block some damage or deal some damage every turn, airspeeders will definitely do damage. Some of the tactics cards need die results to be played too, which doesn't help if you don't roll any nice because all your airspeeders are dead. So I expect the shield generators and the ion cannons to be left until last to be destroyed, and that seems a little backwards.
 
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