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Subject: Ties in Initiative... Rulebook error? rss

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Greg Lott
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Ok, so there's something weird in the rulebook and I'm wondering if it's a mistake. The idea of initiative is that the highest initiative pilot moves last and shoots first. But when two ship pilots are tied in initiative, you look at the scenario to determine if the rebellion or the empire has 'Initiative'. The default, barring explicit statement in the scenario is for the empire to have 'Initiative'. Having initiative means that faction moves first when there is a tie AND shoots first. That HAS to be a mistake, right? At no other time in the game can a ship move first AND shoot first.

To give a clear example, if the rebellion is playing only with Wedge and the empire is playing only with Darth Vader, then in a standard scenario Darth Vader will move AND shoot first because they are both initiative 9.
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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It could be considered an equalising factor.

Actually, in combat you resolve ties in pilot skill by counting the shots as simultaneous. So the only effect of having the initiative is that you move first.

Check the Simultaneous Attack Rule on page 16. You may roll the dice for the player with initiative first, which might affect the targeting choices of the fighter that is tied, but the damage is resolved at the same time.
 
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Greg Lott
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Three Headed Monkey wrote:
It could be considered an equalising factor.

Actually, in combat you resolve ties in pilot skill by counting the shots as simultaneous. So the only effect of having the initiative is that you move first.


Yeah, or something I thought of two seconds after the post is that the two pilots are extremely close. The effect is that the side with initiative must move first but gets to shoot first. So, he's penalized during the movement, but benefits during shooting, which is arguably the most important time to benefit.
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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Sure, but the other ship that fires last will still get to fire even if taking lethal damage, thanks to the simultaneous attack rule. So it's not that big of a deal.
 
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Christian Busch

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There is a subtle advantage to shooting first when tied: effects that come as a result of the first shot apply, ie. Vader hits Wedge and scores a critical that affects Wedge's attack, Wedge must apply the effect during his attack. Kind of rare but can happen. Personally, I think moving first is far worse than having the fringe case of my shot weakening your shot because I have initiative.
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Three Headed Monkey
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Well, you might force him to use his focus on defence, which could possibly make his attack less effective. That's probably the more common advantage to be gained, I feel.
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Josh Taylor
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I thought they had a whole article about squad building and one of the advantages of building a squad with fewer points was that it gave you the initiative advantage in ties?
 
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Greg Lott
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Gargamel wrote:
I thought they had a whole article about squad building and one of the advantages of building a squad with fewer points was that it gave you the initiative advantage in ties?


You aren't wrong. The weird thing is that having initiative appears to be a bad thing. Moving first seems much worse than firing second when accounting that the Simultaneous Fire rule comes into play for pilots of equal skill.
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Three Headed Monkey
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Well, I'm not sure. You can't really adjust where you are moving to in response to anyone. Apart from barrel-rolls. The change in move order may change your chosen action, however. Perhaps if you move first it puts you in range of a lock on, while if you moved last you would have stayed out.

However, when you get close in, I can see an advantage to moving earlier. There is less chance of a collision with another ship. It's ok if someone bumps into you after you move, as only they lose their action.

So when it comes to moving first I'm not so sure it's really that big of a deal compared to shooting first, even using the simultaneous attack rules.

It's one of those things that will only become clear once we actually start playing.

However, I do agree that giving the person who spent less point initiative makes it seem like it is meant to be a clear advantage. I actually think it would be a bad thing if it really was too good. I think it should just be an incidental thing, and not something you really feel like you have to try for to get.

 
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Greg Lott
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Three Headed Monkey wrote:
Well, I'm not sure. You can't really adjust where you are moving to in response to anyone. Apart from barrel-rolls. The change in move order may change your chosen action, however. Perhaps if you move first it puts you in range of a lock on, while if you moved last you would have stayed out.

However, when you get close in, I can see an advantage to moving earlier. There is less chance of a collision with another ship. It's ok if someone bumps into you after you move, as only they lose their action.

So when it comes to moving first I'm not so sure it's really that big of a deal compared to shooting first, even using the simultaneous attack rules.

It's one of those things that will only become clear once we actually start playing.

However, I do agree that giving the person who spent less point initiative makes it seem like it is meant to be a clear advantage. I actually think it would be a bad thing if it really was too good. I think it should just be an incidental thing, and not something you really feel like you have to try for to get.



You're acting like barrel rolls aren't a big deal. After playing, I assure you that they are. Knowing where everyone is going to be in general let's you pick which action is most needed. Moving last IS a big deal.
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Christian Busch

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ferris1971 wrote:

You're acting like barrel rolls aren't a big deal. After playing, I assure you that they are. Knowing where everyone is going to be in general let's you pick which action is most needed. Moving last IS a big deal.

Agree 100%. Moving last is likely the most important aspect of this game. Reacting to when you need to evade vs focus vs barrel roll vs target lock effectively is key to a good squad strategy. If you move first, you’re guessing. Guessing wrong means you take damage and/or lose a ship. If you move last, you aren’t guessing, you’re optimizing.
 
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Greg Lott
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space monkey mafia wrote:
ferris1971 wrote:

You're acting like barrel rolls aren't a big deal. After playing, I assure you that they are. Knowing where everyone is going to be in general let's you pick which action is most needed. Moving last IS a big deal.

Agree 100%. Moving last is likely the most important aspect of this game. Reacting to when you need to evade vs focus vs barrel roll vs target lock effectively is key to a good squad strategy. If you move first, you’re guessing. Guessing wrong means you take damage and/or lose a ship. If you move last, you aren’t guessing, you’re optimizing.


At least three times yesterday, a timely barrel roll meant that ship pulled out of danger while setting up a close range shot. A few other times meant negating a shot or putting yourself at long range. And if you KNOW you can't do either of these, and are in harms way, evade is an AMAZING action for those Tie's. If we learned nothing from GI Joe, we learned the knowing is half the battle, so yeah, moving last is a big deal. Casualties typically (at least in the games I've played) march up the initiative order.
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Greg Lott
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I just noticed that I'm alone in a thread with 2 monkeys and Gargamel. Hmmm... There's a joke there somewhere.

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Three Headed Monkey
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space monkey mafia wrote:
ferris1971 wrote:

You're acting like barrel rolls aren't a big deal. After playing, I assure you that they are. Knowing where everyone is going to be in general let's you pick which action is most needed. Moving last IS a big deal.

Agree 100%. Moving last is likely the most important aspect of this game. Reacting to when you need to evade vs focus vs barrel roll vs target lock effectively is key to a good squad strategy. If you move first, you’re guessing. Guessing wrong means you take damage and/or lose a ship. If you move last, you aren’t guessing, you’re optimizing.

Fair enough. I was just speculating. Real game experience trumps that everytime .

The closest game I've played to this is Aeronautica Imperialis, where a chosen maneuver can potentially leave in very different parts of the board, whereas this seems a bit more ridged. I see your point though.
 
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Eric B.
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Don't be so sure, moving first can have huge benefits.

For starters, if you know you are the first ship to move, then you know exactly what the board will look like as you move and you can try to get right in the way of where you think enemy ships are likely to try and go (thus costing them their action and possible their attack at you).

As more and more ships activate, the board becomes more and more unpredictable and the likelihood of "collisions" starts to increase drastically for ships that activate later, potentially costing them their action and an attack opportunity.


Of course, choosing your action is much easier when more of the opponent's ships have already activated and are locked in place. So there are pros and cons, but I certainly don't think that moving last is always better than moving first. Especially on a board cluttered with ships in the middle of a scrum.
 
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Joshua C
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We houserule this to say that the person with a lower-cost army gets to choose (only at the beginning of the game, then it's stuck for that entire game) whether to have initiative or give it to the opponent.

Whether you agree or disagree on whether initiative is good or bad, I think most people would find it fair that the person with a lower cost army get to decide that for themselves.
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