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Subject: Does Wave 10 jump the shark? rss

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Jim Rice
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OK, I have to admit that I'm a little concerned. I use to play StarWars CCG and when they came out with the Epic Events it lost some of its shine. Like they were jumping the shark, and it suddenly started going down hill. I'm getting a nervous feeling that the new Condition cards for X-Wing are doing the same thing. Anyone else concerned?
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John Huss
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I don't think so. Conditions are slightly more complicated yes, but they are a system to introduce effects without needing extra reference cards (bombs) and they could have/should have been used for some effects we already have (Agent Kallus). They add complexity, but everything they do is stated right there on the cards.
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Richard Dickson
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Conditions are basically Focus and Evade tokens with a bit more rules behind them and that not everyone has. I'll Show You the Dark Side does pack a pretty good punch, but I'm sure players will find ways to deal with it.
 
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Ed
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The game has come a long way from TIE Swarm and Bloody Daggers for sure (those two lists had maybe four upgrade cards combined). Seems inevitable, there was only so much you could do within the core game mechanics, they have to add things like condition cards to keep the game interesting.
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Matt Steski
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Nope. A Condition card isn't any more complicated than many of the crits on damage cards, and those have been in the game since the beginning.
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Jason Garman
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I don't think I'd describe it as "jumping the shark", but I do agree that the design of the last couple of waves feels much messier than previous waves. It's true that the rules on the condition cards are not fundamentally more complex than the rules for something like ion tokens, but ions are a much broader mechanic that can be used by a lot of different ships and upgrades. These new condition cards are not really expanding the game as a whole, they're just adding some fiddly rules and edge cases that only apply to one upgrade card or pilot.

The title cards for the ARC and TIE/sf are very similar, where the designers didn't have any way to make the ships interesting and distinct with their stats and dials so they made auto-include title cards that are basically just a way to include more complicated rules that apply to only those ships.

It feels to me like the design space set out in the original game rules has been pretty fully explored at this point and the only way to keep releasing new content is to add fiddly complicated bits on top. X-Wing is still making a ton of money for FFG though, so they are going to keep finding ways to bolt on complexity until people stop buying new ships.
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Ken
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I'm not fond of the Conditions either. I know saying so invites others to tell my why they are similar to some of what we already have.

Nevertheless, more mechanics, more rules, a larger FAQ, more interactions, every unique pilot with unique abilities. It is a bit much.

Jump the shark? I don't know. I do know that I often find myself playing either generics with few upgrades if any in more casual games. Otherwise there is so much to keep track of.

Which oddly enough has pushed me into a game I never thought I get into. I thoroughly enjoy it and, as of late, have been playing it more often. So jump the shark? Again, I don't know. But it has caused me to look else where; is that the same thing?
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Andreas Krüger
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The addition of new mechanics with each wave is indeed a trend that I don't like, but perhaps cconditions are good enough to keep the game going for a while before they need to introduce the next big thing.

The German translation seems to be a bit sloppy, with some copy&paste errors, things like confusing attack and defense dice. Looks like they did not have enough time or resources. But this may have been on the Heidelberger side who had a difficult time with the death of their CEO and the merger with Asmodee.
 
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Sean Burns
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Remember when X-Wing was about dogfighting and outflying your opponent? Clever by-the-seat-of-your-pants tactics and surprises?

I am not even interested in playing anymore because it has become a bloated game of "who has the better card combos". I fly into a battle, I launch an attack amd then my opponent activates some Rube Goldberg machine of cards that activate cards that activate cards that activate cards and then suddenly my entire squadron is destroyed. Sounds like fun.
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JH
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I'm fine with conditions. There's no real difference between a condition and, say, a tractor beam token in terms of complexity, and the effect's right there on the card so you don't have to memorize it or look it up. I'm fine with new mechanics in general; they're inevitable for an ever-expanding game, and so long as each one isn't too complicated, I'm happy. You don't play with them all at once, after all.

How they'll actually shake out in the meta is something else, but IMO they're a pretty good way to add new mechanics without making things too complex (and yeah, Kallus would have been a natural for this if he weren't designed earlier on).

I do wish ISYTDS had a down side of some sort. Fanatical devotion has inability to spend focus tokens to defend, A Score to Settle makes you a target as well, and Suppressive Fire can be gotten rid of. But ISYTDS just sits there indefinitely until you take a critical, and there are lots of ways to hit with criticals.
 
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Ken
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
I'm fine with conditions. There's no real difference between a condition and, say, a tractor beam token in terms of complexity, and the effect's right there on the card so you don't have to memorize it or look it up.


I don't think you're following the idea here. Yes you are right. There is not difference, per se, than a tractor beam. Which has little difference from an Ion token. And that isn't any more complex than several other things.

There are several issues here. These new new mechanics adds to an ever growing list of mechanics that one needs to keep track of. To that add pilot skills, upgrades and all of their various interactions, plus it takes a full page just to describe the timing of an attack. I've seen top notch guys on Twitch forgot to use a pilot skill or upgrade for little more reason than there being so much to track. Also very experienced players who still debate the different interactions of various cards and abilities. Add to that, now we have conditions.

Where is the simple space fighter, dog fighting game we fell in love with. This is a complex game with a lot of depth, and to that they are adding ever growing layers of depth/complexity.
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Jason B
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Mirth123 wrote:
Anyone else concerned?


It jumped the shark a long time ago in my opinion. Give me waves 1-3 over newer waves any day of the week. I ain't afraid to roll green dice.

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JH
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
I don't think you're following the idea here.

I'm following it fine, I'm just not agreeing.

Ken at Sunrise wrote:
Where is the simple space fighter, dog fighting game we fell in love with. This is a complex game with a lot of depth, and to that they are adding ever growing layers of depth/complexity.

It lasted about two waves. No game can grow and stay as simple as it starts out. And if it had I wouldn't have stayed interested, honestly. Some combos get a little bananas (Bossk with IG-88D missing once to shoot two more times, for example), but compare it to something like Magic these days and X-Wing still seems about as streamlined as a dolphin.

Take Battleship Galaxies as a counterexample. There's a game that was never expanded, so it stayed simple. Don't see much chatter about it now.

Ken at Sunrise wrote:
These new new mechanics adds to an ever growing list of mechanics that one needs to keep track of ...

But as with ion tokens, bombs, etc., you only have to keep track of the ones that are in the match you're currently playing. You're unlikely to have to juggle the rules for more than two or three things at once. That's why I say they don't really add complexity, despite adding more options. They're one more thing that might show up in a game, and if they do you can always check out what they do.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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A bunch of simple mechanics mixed together creates the complexity. And honestly, it's less the complexity and more the "SURPRISE!" at tournaments when there's some new card that you didn't fully study and have a hard time defending against.

I don't think we're quite there yet, but getting close. I do like seeing new twists to existing mechanics, for example the Quadjumper's reverse maneuvers. I think there's still some room to grow there. IMHO, X-Wing will jump the shark when factions are no longer hard lines (i.e. Imp ships and Rebel ships on the same team).

-shnar
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Yes.

Last few waves have introduced 'changes for the sake of changes'. This used to be an elegant game, but Conditions are especially a bloat that was not needed.

This game does not need mechanism bloat! It really does not.

Designers, please save it before it's too late.
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Guido Gloor
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FWIW, I had a bit of an X-Wing downtime in 2015. I'm not quite sure why, to me, the game probably got a bit stale after playing it extensively since release.

2016 saw me pick up the game again, though I was a bit concerned about the relatively rigid metagame with just a few top squadrons. Things have much improved since then.

X-Wing has become much more of a lifestyle game, and less casual-friendly, that's for sure. I guess that also means that it's less accessible to the average BGGer, because BGGers are usually omnigamevores who like to sample many games and play lots of different things. X-Wing has the depth to support being the only game you play for months, there's lots of tournaments, there's player teams and a great community with WhatsApp groups and Slack chat and all.

This has the upside that you still see rewards after playing dozens of games in a few weeks, and the downside that there's a lot of stuff to learn if you enter the game, or haven't followed its new releases in a while.

So the general tone of this thread doesn't surprise me all that much, given the forum it's in, but on the other hand, I'm perfectly happy after having played almost exclusively X-Wing for the last six months, and I plan to continue doing so
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thespaceinvader -
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Conditions are fine. The real danger I see is in dice-based power creep - the game seems to be going through cycles of escalation in defence then escalation in attack that are leaving the ships not affected by those escalations languishing in significantly lower tiers. In particular, the profusion of reliable 5-die attacks really messes up TIE fighters and other 3- or 4-HP 3-agi ships.
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JH
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thespaceinvader wrote:
Conditions are fine. The real danger I see is in dice-based power creep - the game seems to be going through cycles of escalation in defence then escalation in attack that are leaving the ships not affected by those escalations languishing in significantly lower tiers. In particular, the profusion of reliable 5-die attacks really messes up TIE fighters and other 3- or 4-HP 3-agi ships.

This I'd agree with. With Swarm Tactics you can get a lot of extra damage, though the ships supplying the evade tokens are left a bit more vulnerable. There's a Norra/Shara/Jan list I've made that can get you 8-9 attack dice (it's not really practical, but it's doable).
 
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Keith Anderson
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
Which oddly enough has pushed me into a game I never thought I get into. I thoroughly enjoy it and, as of late, have been playing it more often. So jump the shark? Again, I don't know. But it has caused me to look else where; is that the same thing?


Do you mean a style of X-Wing (streamlined without upgrades) or an entirely different game? If game, mind saying which one? I'm always keeping an eye out for new ship combat games.
 
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DerMahler wrote:
Remember when X-Wing was about dogfighting and outflying your opponent? Clever by-the-seat-of-your-pants tactics and surprises.


Some friends and I recently played a short series where each player had 120 points and you could use whatever cards you had, but only a maximum of seven models from a select range of early-waves ships. Game one was your list with cards, game two was the same match minus the cards and pilot cheese--their skill rating only. That was a lot of fun.

We had another game where your list was limited to 10 _cards,_ excepting modifications and titles. Yes, a ship itself counted as one of the cards.

The game is open to playing with it in a lot of different ways.

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shnar wrote:
...IMHO, X-Wing will jump the shark when factions are no longer hard lines (i.e. Imp ships and Rebel ships on the same team).

-shnar


We're kinda there. Ships from the Original Trilogy and the Force Awakens eras can fly together. I hope the current three factions split into six once we have a couple more waves featuring post-Force Awakens ships.
 
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Matt Steski
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
thespaceinvader wrote:
Conditions are fine. The real danger I see is in dice-based power creep - the game seems to be going through cycles of escalation in defence then escalation in attack that are leaving the ships not affected by those escalations languishing in significantly lower tiers. In particular, the profusion of reliable 5-die attacks really messes up TIE fighters and other 3- or 4-HP 3-agi ships.

This I'd agree with. With Swarm Tactics you can get a lot of extra damage, though the ships supplying the evade tokens are left a bit more vulnerable. There's a Norra/Shara/Jan list I've made that can get you 8-9 attack dice (it's not really practical, but it's doable).


I think Swarm Tactics is a good thing - it encourages you to bring cheap ships that generate evade tokens, which tend to be the kind of 2-attack ships that are being pushed out of the meta otherwise. Swarm Tactics lets ships like generic TIEs contribute to hitting Defenders, who they don't have a hope of scratching otherwise.

I agree that low-HP, high-AGI ships could use a little help though. Maybe something like this?

High-Speed Maneuvering Thrusters
Modification, 0 points
When defending, ships attacking you with a primary weapon at Range 2-3 cannot roll more than 3 attack dice or add results.

You may not equip this card if your hull value is 4 or greater, or if you have any other Modifications.
 
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Richard Dickson
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BradyLS wrote:
shnar wrote:
...IMHO, X-Wing will jump the shark when factions are no longer hard lines (i.e. Imp ships and Rebel ships on the same team).

-shnar


We're kinda there. Ships from the Original Trilogy and the Force Awakens eras can fly together. I hope the current three factions split into six once we have a couple more waves featuring post-Force Awakens ships.


Imperial Assault has a card for Rebels and Imperials that allows them to use Scum figures in skirmish mode. I could see something like that possibly for Scum Only crew in X-Wing, but I don't think we'll ever see Scum ships cross over.
 
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Allen T
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
thespaceinvader wrote:
Conditions are fine. The real danger I see is in dice-based power creep - the game seems to be going through cycles of escalation in defence then escalation in attack that are leaving the ships not affected by those escalations languishing in significantly lower tiers. In particular, the profusion of reliable 5-die attacks really messes up TIE fighters and other 3- or 4-HP 3-agi ships.

This I'd agree with. With Swarm Tactics you can get a lot of extra damage, though the ships supplying the evade tokens are left a bit more vulnerable. There's a Norra/Shara/Jan list I've made that can get you 8-9 attack dice (it's not really practical, but it's doable).


How does letting another ship shoot during the timing of a Swarm Tactics-equipped PS ship add damage? I'm confused here.


Personally, X-Wing hit the ramp in wave 4, with the Phantom and E-Wings. It started its trip over the shark in wave 5, with 360 HLC. Once required Imperial upgrades started coming packaged in exclusively with a third faction I had no interest in, it was all over for me and I abandoned purchases and tournaments. I was no longer going to purchase things I would never use in order to keep up with tournament play. A friend who owns a board game shop talked me into playing in a Regional tournament post Wave 8 (so I had missed 3 total waves of ships), and I encountered 3 total pre-wave 6 ships in 3 games (Wes, Fel, and Chirneau). I didn't know what nearly 3/4 the cards across the table did (and frequently received 'fudged' interpretations to my opponents benefit).

I don't fault FFG for it. It's impossible to keep a game going without new content. New content needs to have a reason to make people want it.
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GamePlayer wrote:
Ken at Sunrise wrote:
Which oddly enough has pushed me into a game I never thought I get into. I thoroughly enjoy it and, as of late, have been playing it more often. So jump the shark? Again, I don't know. But it has caused me to look else where; is that the same thing?


Do you mean a style of X-Wing (streamlined without upgrades) or an entirely different game? If game, mind saying which one? I'm always keeping an eye out for new ship combat games.


Both really. X-Wing can still be a fun game if you trim a lot away. But then it sometimes feels like that, a trimmed down version and not the real thing. X-Wing by it's nature tends to promote complexity as depth. Part of this comes from being able to one-shot expensive ships and the fact if this game is living so new complexities, rules, things you need to remember, countless interactions, etc. are not going to stop any time soon. So two thoughts...

One, trim down the game and play more missions. Missions are a blast, Epic is tremendously fun. Playing Epic where every pilot has unique skills and upgrade is nearly an impossibility to track. So don't. Play only generics or a squad with only one ace. If you have an upgrade such as IA with R2 then put that on all your X-Wings. Play your squad where everyone has the same pilot skill. You'll never have a tournament squad this way but it does open the game up quite a bit. Did I mention Epic and missions?

Something I notice was that intentionally or not X-Wing gravitates towards complexity. No matter how hard you try you are often encouraged to find ever more complex interactions and wining the match can very often take place before you've placed your squad on the table. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't standard play be easy rules but strategy complex first. Then as you play more you can introduce complexity for flavor rather than jumping in head first and hope you've memorized a 20+ FAQ and Rules and countless upgrade and their interactions with other upgrades and pilots? Well last year I played a game different game that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't know if it is rude talking about the game here so I'll PM you the differences and my opinion.

Don't think I don't like X-Wing, I do, it is just a bit overwhelming. However something that still is fully engrossing, still tactical, has good strategic battles and has standard and Epic styles, but doesn't require hours of squad building and memorization is just something frequently I'm finding I wish play more.
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