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Star Wars: Rebellion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Make Nal Hutta a triple blue triangle (2) system rss

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When you look at the first turn of a game, a play for Utapau is virtually guaranteed and it heavily sways how the rest plays out. This importance is - in my opinion hurting the game as there is very little chance for strategic variety or counter play. The combination of a desirable production and it being impossible for the imperial troops to reach without missions mean that it's pretty much an automatic grab.

This leads to several problems:
1) Rebel strength is greatly dependent on getting the system.
A Rebel with no captial ship production round one is unlikely to gain a significant fleet - ever.

As an Empire player, if I get Trade Negotiations/Fear will keep them in line/Display of Power/Imperial Propaganda as part of my first round hand, I WILL try knock out Utapau. I even would consider a first round Planetary Conquest.

2) It massively skews the Rebel fleet composition.
Fighter heavy fleets suffer from three problems:
- Hard to produce (as you need more ships for the same strength)
- Hard to deploy (as you need more ships for the same strength)
- Hard to maintain (higher casualties)

A single production round of Utapau requires FIVE triangle systems to be producing for the rebels - which I haven't seen in a single game to date.
Capital ships on the other hand are durable and have concentrated firepower. If things go sideways, you can always retreat with them - often without loss. This leads to the point, where it's Rebel protocol to have one big fleet of capital ships to challenge the Empire head on to buy time while relying on hit&run strikes only until they have assembled this fleet.
With fighters only being supplement, their only real purpose is engaging the death star for which they are held back.

3) It marginalizes the transport (and partly the Y-Wing)
With fighter production being low, you don't want to waste them on transports and rather grab combat ships to blow up the death star. The invading that's being done, can easily be carried out with cruisers/corvettes. Transports are meant for the fighter fleets, which don't exist apart from the start.
The Y-Wing also slightly suffers because 2 cruisers and a corvette have 5red/3black dice, so for max firepower you want 2 X-Wings to compliment. Attacking the Death Star? X-Wings are better than Y-Wings because your second priority after surviving is to kill as many TIEs as possible in order to stay alive post round 2 as well. So the Y-Wing is relegated to a fall-back unit in case the Empire crushed the Rebel capital ship production.

This would change with my proposal:

Introduce a system with a production of three blue triangles at 2.

This system should be 2 spaces removed from the closest Imperial starting location but must be guaranteed to be within 3 spaces no matter which setup.

The ideal position therefore would be Nal Hutta.

Nal Hutta is 2 spaces away from every starting location of the Empire but can be reached in 3 moves from Saleucami, Rodia, Sullust and Mandalore.

With Nal Hutta swapped to triple blue triangle at position 2, there is an alternative to Rebel strategy. Suddenly a lucky hand by the Empire can actually be mitigated by clever Rebel play. The Empire can still profit from a good early draw by forcing the Rebels into on fleet composition or the other. Games would play out much more differently in a higher variety with less doom situations.

Such a shift would benefit the rebels but assuring them a good production after round 1 and therefore military options. On the flip-side you could easily make the case that other end of the bell curve, the cases should be curtailed as well. This is actually rather easy:
Make both AC and signature mission of Mon Mothma unavailable in the first round.

Final thoughts:
Star Wars: Rebellion is a very good game and it's ability to create unique situations is a big strength. However, it is very sad, that there is a very real chance that the game is massively skewed to one side or the other though the luck of the draw on the first mission/AC deal.
Give the Rebels Temporary Alliance and/or Establish Trade Relations and their win chances sky rocket to 80+%.
Give the Empire the ability to deny a cruiser after the first round and the Rebel chances tank massively.

Most other things can be mitigate by clever play, but those cannot and that sucks. So make Nal Hutta triple blue!
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Robert Fox
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I've noticed it's hard for the rebels to get y-wings into play as they barely get enough production to get a decent number of x-wings.

I have been thinking of letting the rebel system produce an x and y wing every turn. I think it should be tough for the rebels to get a capital ship into play. All they have to do is scrape together enough of a fleet to produce a temporary local superiority in an area of space the Empire is weak. If they can do that, they can typically run out the clock before the Empire can clear that portion of the board of potential rebel base spaces (barring lucky probe draws).
 
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FuManchu wrote:
I've noticed it's hard for the rebels to get y-wings into play as they barely get enough production to get a decent number of x-wings.

Some would say you are probably producing things in the opposite order - many advocate spamming Y-Wings first, and ignoring X-Wings.

I'm not one of them, but I tend to produce near equal amounts of X and Y wings, to try and let my balance my dice counts as needed. If I have lots of capital ships in a system, I tend to support with X-wings, but if there aren't as many, I'll put in more Y-Wings. It also depends on what I'm going up against.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Some would say you are probably producing things in the opposite order - many advocate spamming Y-Wings first, and ignoring X-Wings.


I have heard such claims, but I never found the reasoning. Can you quickly explain or link?

Also:
What about the main proposal and it's arguments?
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Thrombozyt wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Some would say you are probably producing things in the opposite order - many advocate spamming Y-Wings first, and ignoring X-Wings.


I have heard such claims, but I never found the reasoning. Can you quickly explain or link?

The main reason hinges around killing capital ships being "more important" than killing TIE Fighters.

Quote:
What about the main proposal and it's arguments?

No comment on that one. I typically am not really interested in house rules and usually ignore variant threads; I came across this one in my subscription and just saw the comment I responded to, without realizing it's a variant thread (since it was in the General forum when I first replied). I apologize for going off topic
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Thrombozyt wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Some would say you are probably producing things in the opposite order - many advocate spamming Y-Wings first, and ignoring X-Wings.


I have heard such claims, but I never found the reasoning. Can you quickly explain or link?

Also:
What about the main proposal and it's arguments?


Well, from a strategic point of view, I could see this as being pretty smart. Sure, Y-Wings are pretty vulnerable to TIES, but all Imp troop carriers are Red Health- so, if Y-Wings can spam in and knock out troop carriers, any and all TIES (as well as ground troops) instantly become significantly less mobile.
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Robert Fox
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I was working my x-wing theory on having enough x-wings around to enable destroying the death star. Unless they are holed up in the rebel base they tend to not last long.

I'll try to go heavy on y-wings in my next game to see how it goes.
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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FuManchu wrote:
I was working my x-wing theory on having enough x-wings around to enable destroying the death star. Unless they are holed up in the rebel base they tend to not last long.

I'll try to go heavy on y-wings in my next game to see how it goes.

Keep in mind that Death Star plans just states 'fighters'. It doesn't specify X-Wings. Y-Wings also count as fighters. All ships produced by blue triangles are considered fighters.

So you don't need to produce X-Wings just to enable destroying the Death Star.
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I find myself using transports much more than I used to. The Rebellion often ends up, after an initial burst to get Cruisers, with shitty production and a lot of troopers. A transport or two full of troopers, moving with Hidden Fleet, can get me a couple of points with a combat objective and a liberation one.

I used to worry about building up the base, but now I just use a leader to oppose the Imps gather intel mission (can't remember the exact name, sorry).
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Three Headed Monkey wrote:
FuManchu wrote:
I was working my x-wing theory on having enough x-wings around to enable destroying the death star. Unless they are holed up in the rebel base they tend to not last long.

I'll try to go heavy on y-wings in my next game to see how it goes.

Keep in mind that Death Star plans just states 'fighters'. It doesn't specify X-Wings. Y-Wings also count as fighters. All ships produced by blue triangles are considered fighters.

So you don't need to produce X-Wings just to enable destroying the Death Star.


Touché. It never even occurred to me to check that.
 
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Three Headed Monkey wrote:
All ships produced by blue triangles are considered fighters.


Transports are not fighters, fighters have black health.
Otherwise building a fleet a transports would be a pretty good way to defeat a death star.

I am assuming you knew this, but just wanted to clarify the blue triangles statement.
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So.. coming back to the original proposal - do you believe that the change to Nal Hutta would be beneficial to the game due to the reasons outlined?

Just last night I played a match where I was the Empire and drew Trade Negotiations round one. Even though the Rebels could cling to Mon Cal for the first round of production by attacking Saleucami they incurred massive losses and they kind of never recovered from that.

The game was over turn 5.
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Thrombozyt wrote:
So.. coming back to the original proposal - do you believe that the change to Nal Hutta would be beneficial to the game due to the reasons outlined?


I think for some games it could be. If your group is at the point that Utapau has become a dominant strategy, though, the Rebel player could probably use that information to their advantage and attempt to really lure the Imperial there and away from the base. Not saying that's guaranteed to work, but in a game any guaranteed strategy is basically broken.
 
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Under which circumstances do Rebels NOT make Utapau loyal first turn if the Empire has no diplomatic mission scheduled?

My point is, the first move is so dominant, it has already become problematic.
 
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Thrombozyt wrote:
Under which circumstances do Rebels NOT make Utapau loyal first turn if the Empire has no diplomatic mission scheduled?

My point is, the first move is so dominant, it has already become problematic.


Personally, I can't say. Perhaps it's something as dicey as even trying to convince one's opponent that they're an inexperienced player and cause them to underestimate them. Perhaps Utapau is taken, but again, only as a diversion.

As many others have stated in previous threads- perhaps this has become a dominant strategy in your own group because you're stuck in a rut of similar playstyles.
 
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Honestly, I don't think this variant changes things much. Utapau is still the better bet and it just makes it a little more valuable for the Empire to send fleets that can get to Nal Hutta before the second production turn. If a Diplomacy action is likely in the offing from the Empire, they can use it to ruin a Rebel Nal Hutta just as easily as Utapau, right? And you have to go first (i.e., Empire can take the last action for their diplomacy).

Am I missing something?
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stephenhope wrote:
Honestly, I don't think this variant changes things much. Utapau is still the better bet and it just makes it a little more valuable for the Empire to send fleets that can get to Nal Hutta before the second production turn. If a Diplomacy action is likely in the offing from the Empire, they can use it to ruin a Rebel Nal Hutta just as easily as Utapau, right? And you have to go first (i.e., Empire can take the last action for their diplomacy).

Am I missing something?


1) It gives a Rebel player the option to focus on fighters as an alternative to main capital ships.

2) Very often Rebels initiate an attack that draws out an Imperial Leader meaning the Rebels actually have the last go in the first turn. Even if they don't, both Trade Negotiations and Display of Power are resolved on site. So if Rebels go first, they already have Mon Mothma auto-opposing a diplomatic mission. On the flip side with only 1 massively worthwhile target the Empire can simply go there first turn and make it Imperial and the Rebels are locked out.

3) Between Nal Hutta, Mon Calamari and Utapau, the Rebel player has actually a realistic option to halt the Imperial advance on one of them prior to turn 4 so the Rebels might be getting so later reinforcements.

Keep in mind, that the restriction on Mon Mothma's mission/AC would also prevent the opposite of a too massive first production.
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
As many others have stated in previous threads- perhaps this has become a dominant strategy in your own group because you're stuck in a rut of similar playstyles.

Actually, when you look at the strategy threads and reports from around the boards, Build Alliance in Utapau is THE go-to move for every semi-experience Rebel player.

I welcome you to play Rebel against me and NOT go there - I strongly suspect that this decision is associated with a 20-30% drop in win rate. Just make a note prior to the game if you take it or not. I will play under the assumption that you go there.
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stephenhope wrote:
Honestly, I don't think this variant changes things much. Utapau is still the better bet and it just makes it a little more valuable for the Empire to send fleets that can get to Nal Hutta before the second production turn. If a Diplomacy action is likely in the offing from the Empire, they can use it to ruin a Rebel Nal Hutta just as easily as Utapau, right? And you have to go first (i.e., Empire can take the last action for their diplomacy).

Am I missing something?


I believe he means instead of seeing the same first turn strategy in Utapau, now there would be the option of seeing the same first turn strategy in Nal Hutta instead.

I'm of the same opinion as sigmazero13, I don't care for variants. However I would like to see some resource randomization or alteration in a (cover your ears now) expansion. That's all I want to say about that though.

I personally would definitely consider going for Nal Hutta as opposed to Utapau if it offered 3 fighters. I am a large fan of fighters. Since the Empire is so red die heavy, you essentially reduce their effectiveness quite a bit when they start rolling those useless hits. And fighters can be relatively safe when using frequent hit and runs, since that maximized your tactic cards per combat round.

Anyway these are my opinions, but never underestimate the power of fighters.
 
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Thrombozyt wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
As many others have stated in previous threads- perhaps this has become a dominant strategy in your own group because you're stuck in a rut of similar playstyles.

Actually, when you look at the strategy threads and reports from around the boards, Build Alliance in Utapau is THE go-to move for every semi-experience Rebel player.

I welcome you to play Rebel against me and NOT go there - I strongly suspect that this decision is associated with a 20-30% drop in win rate. Just make a note prior to the game if you take it or not. I will play under the assumption that you go there.


I've played about 15-20 games and I'd say that we now only go for Utupau about 60% of the time. Capital ships can be good. But often Mygeto, genosis, or orb mantel are simply more strategic and better in the long run.

Saying "always go for Utupau" is a sign of a mediocre player who's never experimented with alternate strategies. Not a bad player. It's often the best planet to take. But just a mediocre one.

As for the OP the change to Nal Hutta would be beyond ridiculous and make the planet insanely overpowered for the rebellion. it would be the go to planet for 80% of all games. Fighters are by far one of the most important units for the rebels and to be able to produce 3 every other turn and burst 3 into the build que on turn 1 (not counting other production) is simply game breaking.

The resource allocation across the systems is fine (if occasionally slightly at odds with lore)

This post comes from a war game centric mindset that sees capital ship production as the most important part of the game. Which it isn't.
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It's not the first time, that you try to belittle my player skill. But if you read and understand what I'm arguing for, you would realize, that I always go for Utapau, because it's simply always the best option if it is available. I try to propose an alternative exactly because the availability and production of Utapau is crowding out the decision space.

If you think that fighters are "by far one of the most important units for the rebels" then tell me how many fighters would you need to get a force that equals the 1 cruiser & 1 corvette that Utapau provides. Because I would take cruiser/corvette over 3 fighters every day and twice on sunday. The reasons are detailed actually in the opening post.

Capital ship production isn't the most important part of the game, but the capital ship production after the end of turn 2 is one of the best and simple indicators of how the game is shaping up.
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Thrombozyt wrote:
Capital ship production isn't the most important part of the game, but the capital ship production after the end of turn 2 is one of the best and simple indicators of how the game is shaping up.

I don't think I agree with this. While the Rebels do need capital ships at times, using military as a basis for how well the Rebels are doing is not a good measure - the Rebels will NEVER be able to keep up with the Empire on the Military front, but should instead be focusing on building hit-and-run fleets, and often fighters will be more effective for that.

I, myself, go for Utapau often, though I can't say which percentage of the time. It's not 100% by any means, because there are times when I'd rather focus on the Mon Calamari side of the board, or (depending on my objective) focus on other things in general.

It's a good system, but I don't think making Nal Hutta stronger would change anything for me.
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1. Wrong. Utupauh produces no fighters and no ground units. Which are both highly important for long term rebel viability. Also the planet has no escape routes so it cannot be defended by the rebels. Sure you're about garunteed to get a MonCalCru and a CorCor but that's it. Wheras other systems you can afford to protect and be able to retreat from if pressed.
A ground unit focus (specifically speeders and shield generators) combined with a turtle strategy can be just as viable as your sabotage style huge fleet strategy in the right circumstances.

2.
a. Fighters are literally the easiest unit to produce. Not only do you get a free one from your base but most systems produce them in ONE turn. Which is super versatile and versatility is more important than power for the rebels.
b. It actually is hard to deploy fighters given the unit limit. But with systems so abhorrently difficult to defend like Utupauh it's even worse. Get a bunch of systems near and adjacent to each other like the Hutt Space systems and you have a far better setup for fighter fleets.
c. Not really. Since you produce faster and all fighter producing sectors also produce other kinds of units you get more value in the long run from fighter producing sectors given the 3 mon cal limit.

Thrombozyt wrote:


A single production round of Utapau requires FIVE triangle systems to be producing for the rebels - which I haven't seen in a single game to date.
Capital ships on the other hand are durable and have concentrated firepower. If things go sideways, you can always retreat with them - often without loss. This leads to the point, where it's Rebel protocol to have one big fleet of capital ships to challenge the Empire head on to buy time while relying on hit&run strikes only until they have assembled this fleet.
With fighters only being supplement, their only real purpose is engaging the death star for which they are held back.


I have no earthly idea what you mean by five triangle systems being equal to utuapuh. That's just blatently not true. It's nearly impossible to compare two systems if they both produce two symbols worth of units. As different units have different values in different circumstances and the "good" systems produce so slowly that they often make little difference.

Again. You're stuck in a meta where big fleet rebels are common. Which is a very narrow minded strategical mindset. I too started with the big fleet mindset but have since broadened by view to see multiple archetypal strategies. See my post on rebel strategy archetypes.


Thrombozyt wrote:


3) It marginalizes the transport (and partly the Y-Wing)
With fighter production being low, you don't want to waste them on transports and rather grab combat ships to blow up the death star. The invading that's being done, can easily be carried out with cruisers/corvettes. Transports are meant for the fighter fleets, which don't exist apart from the start.
The Y-Wing also slightly suffers because 2 cruisers and a corvette have 5red/3black dice, so for max firepower you want 2 X-Wings to compliment. Attacking the Death Star? X-Wings are better than Y-Wings because your second priority after surviving is to kill as many TIEs as possible in order to stay alive post round 2 as well. So the Y-Wing is relegated to a fall-back unit in case the Empire crushed the Rebel capital ship production.

Again, very very wrong. the advantage to transports is how insanely fast they can be built. Mon cals take forever to hit the table and have the same cargo capacity as a transport which you can deploy turn one. True, if a rebel player is properly managing his starting fleet and resources he won't need to build a new transport but often it's necessary. The ability to instantly build a transport is important to balance for the rebels.

Your point on Y wings is baffling as Y wings are more valuable than X-wings in most circumstances given that for the empire capital ships are more important. Though you always want to go for that 5 and 5 fleet composition so the versatility of being able to produce either type of dice is vital for correcting your current fleet and making a foundation for new ones (though you never want to try to build a new fleet as the rebels. If you lose your starting fleet you're already in a bad way unless you got a LOT from it.)


The lack of alternate opening strategies you cite more likely comes from a lack of strategic creativity or a fondness for comfort zone openings. Which is fine, but making Nal hutta over powered won't fix this problem and it will simply give a buff to the rebels which they don't need. The rebels getting Utupauh hasn't had any impact on the rebel's win loss ratio in my experience. I would suggest looking into other opening moves and other strategic philosophies.

There are schools of thought that view which planets you take as bait that lures the empire's fleets towards them. So they choose their planets based on where they want the empire's fleet to go. This is just as important to keep in mind as fleet composition.

I suggest trying to play with different groups. The last two games I had there was almost no activity on Utupauh. Lots of times there is. But we understand the system is usually only worth one build phase unlike other systems.
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David Umstattd wrote:
I suggest trying to play with different groups. The last two games I had there was almost no activity on Utupauh. Lots of times there is. But we understand the system is usually only worth one build phase unlike other systems.


That is definetly understood, but one build-alliance-mission for a cruiser/corvette on 3 is a trade I would make more than once.

There is only one instance, where fighters are better than capital ships and that's against the death star. Else I would always have my cruiser in place of two fighters and my corvette in place of 1 fighter. The capital ships can do hit&run even better than fighters.
 
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Thrombozyt wrote:
The capital ships can do hit&run even better than fighters.

Depends on what they are fighting. Against other capital ships, not so much; against fighters, yes.

If you are attacking a bunch of capital ships, bringing in fighters is a good bet because they have a much smaller chance of hitting them. Bringing in capital ships, they are more likely to get hit.
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