05 May 2016

These are your first steps - Heroes of the Resistance Expansion for X-Wing

Greetings and May the 4th be with you!

Nic here - Sorry that the bar has been a bit absent over the past few weeks. Finals are just now concluding down here at Georgia Southern. As such, I can get back on track with more articles and dealing less with failing students!

Today, the Heroes of the Resistance expansion pack was announced. We figured that this was coming at some point but it was sure fun to have it drop on this very special day Jedi celebration day (Sorry Imperials!).

Let's jump right into some of the nifty new things that FFG has planned for us beyond the cosmetic changes (aka new dish for Falcon and BB-freakin-8 on Black One). 

Pilot Cards
From what we can gather, we have five unique new pilots that were not revealed. Three T-70 X-Wing Pilots and two YT-1300 pilots. Of the reveals, for the T-70 the new Poe Dameron card hasn't changed much beyond the addition of Pilot Skill 9 and an overall increase in points from 31 to 33. This now places him with the elite pilots such as Darth Vader and Baron von Fel. It also gives Poe players a great deal of options with elite pilot cards (I bet that a new elite pilot card is coming in this expansion as well) as now Veteran Instincts is no longer a must in order to be an efficient arc dodger and play in the sandbox with the big boys. I have been toying with the idea of putting Lone Wolf on Poe as for the most part I find him off on his own dealing tons of damage.

This could meld well with one of my new favorite builds:
Poe - Lone Wolf, R5-P9, Autothrusters
Jake - VI, A-Wing Test Pilot, PTL, Proton Rockets, Autothrusters
Kyle Katarn - Adaptability, Dorsal Turret, Moldy Crow

Now normally, I would have a TLT on Kyle but sacrifice a bit of damage output for more damage potential on Poe. If you fly it right, it could be a whole bunch of fun.

Now onto Rey. Oh my sweet Rey of sunshine. This pilot card excites me as it reads "When attacking or defending, if the enemy ship is insider your firing arc, you may reroll up to 2 of your blank results".


Now Rey gives you a bit more control over what dice to re-roll and when for both offense and defense given your opponent is within your firing arc. Pair this with the newest Falcon title card, you gain a great deal of potential damage output and defense potential while staying out at range three. Typically you want the Falcon (usually piloted by Han) up in the mix for a decent amount of time during play to get the range one bonus, but now I can see players flying the Falcon around range three more often. Unfortunately we will most likely end up with high point value for a fully loaded Rey as I do foresee you still needing C-3PO (aka the true hero of Star Wars and of course all Falcon players everywhere).


Other Title Cards
Now squinting closing you can make out the Black One title (for those of you who pay attention to detail look at the crew card right above it and try not to lol). It reads "After you perform a boost or barrel roll action, you may remove 1 enemy target lock from a friendly ship at range 1. You cannot equip this card if your pilot skill is "5 (I think?? or maybe 6)" or lower". This could be fun! Essentially if you move last and you are flying somewhat close to your ships you can remove target locks. Now this might not seem like much given the recent U-Boat meta (do not need TL to dump ordinance), however, think about the upcoming Imperial Veterans card Long-Range Scanners. Now pair BB-8 with Ello Asty with Black One title you can potentially remove two target locks from friendly ships. I see this altering the meta slightly as you will need to bring Gamma Squadron Veterans for TIE Bombers with Deadeye in order to counter this title. Moreover, no longer will Z-95s missile boats be able to push damage through effectively as they cannot take elite pilot cards. If the pilot can pull the correct maneuvers off you may interrupt that nasty Alpha Strike that is incoming.


Other Fun Stuff 
Elicits????? Say what???? Now it is not fully revealed but something that looks like smuggling compartments would give a YT-1300 elicits. That could be fun right? Glitterstim on Rey could be interesting. However, we cannot see that new elicit card but based off the symbol is looks awfully like SLAM. Now SLAM for a big ship could be interesting (considering I have flown my K-Wing off the board once or twice) and could give them some get the hell out of dodge quickly boosts.

Overall this expansion will be a nice boost to Rebel players and maybe some fun for Scum. I am very excited to see the Finn and Rey crew cards.

What do you think they will be? For Finn I am thinking it will be something related to negating missile or torpedo focuses and/or TL (he does shoot the Star Destroyers missile out of the sky in the movie and all).

What do you all think for Rey? Let us know!

Peace out for now folks!

18 April 2016

So long and bye bye Intentional Draws!

Dear X-Wingers,

The long awaited (two agonizing days) announcement from Fantasy Flight Games has arrived!

Here are the exact words of our friendly neighborhood regarding the nefarious Intentional Draw!

"A recent update to the tournament regulations for each game supported by Organized Play highlighted intentional draws as a valid outcome to a match that competitors could choose to employ. This inclusion was made in the interest of a fair competitive play environment after seeing the implications of draws as a possible outcome without also including intentional draws as a legal option. The existence of intentional draws levels the playing field for all if draws of any kind are allowed in a game’s tournament play.

However, we have been listening to our communities of players and organizers following a noteworthy instance of intentional draws at a Regional Championship. One sentiment that resonated with many was that tournaments exist to bring people together to play games. We agree wholeheartedly with that goal, and we are charting a path toward achieving it more effectively.

After discussion with game developers and organizers, we have identified viable methods for the removal of draws from the tournament experience for our games which feature single-game Swiss rounds. In our games which feature two-game Swiss rounds (Android: Netrunner™ and Star Wars™: The Card Game), we are not planning any change to the intentional split policy due to the frequency of matches which result in equal tournament points awarded to both players.

This decision was not made lightly. We will be allowing the time necessary for these methods to be examined and fully tested before determining which will be used for resolving matches currently handled as draws. Each game's next Tournament Regulations update in July will include its new method, and it will become effective for tournaments starting August 1st, 2016. Until then, the current Tournament Regulations will remain in effect."

Wait...did I read that correctly? Let's read that again shall we.

After discussion with game developers and organizers, we have identified viable methods for the removal of draws from the tournament experience for our games which feature single-game Swiss rounds.

Come August 1st, it looks like Intentional Draws will be removed from X-Wing as it has a single round of Swiss. Can I get an 'Amen' folks?

No quickly cancel your tournaments, and only fly casual until August 1st for those of you who are unhappy with IDs in higher level play like regionals.

For the entire article from FFG please click here.

Goodbye for now fellow nerds and nerdettes.



15 April 2016

Say what??? Intentional Draw announcement?



Well folks...FFG has answered (kinda)!

However, we will all have to wait until Monday to get the full understanding.

Any guesses? I am looking into crystal ball and I see the following words:

"We understand that many players are upset with the newly instated intentional draw (ID) rule, however, it is a great rule and we love it! We play tested the heck out of it with some of our top players and it is working within the scope of the design. Yet we felt it was missing something, so we have updated the scoring structure of the game to accommodate a more balance approach to IDs in higher level play. Please find the following updated point structure:

Match Win = 6 points
Match Loss = -6 points
Modified Win = 1 point
Modified Loss = -1 point
Intentional Draw = 5 points

We hope that this new scoring structure will encourage the use at all levels of play. Best of luck and keep flying! - with love from Frank"


Peace out
Nic and Jeb

13 April 2016

Twitch Tuesday with Aaron Utley


Hi Folks!

Due to our recent post regarding Intentional Draws (ID), Jeb and I thought this was a timely and appropriate twitch stream (and now a recorded YouTube video) that allows us to hear from those that partook in an ID themselves.

Check out the 4th episode of Twitch Tuesday with Aaron Utely, if you want to learn more about this controversial topic and why those folks did what they did over at the 2016 Roanoke Regional tournament.

TMB DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible nor liable for you breaking your computer screen, iPad, smart phone, or whatever by your reactions to these fine gents explanations about ID.

If your interested in 2016 Roanoke Regional action, check out his YouTube page, Stele Enterprises.

So long, farewell, avidazen, goodnight! 

12 April 2016

To Draw or not to Draw...that is the question!


Dear X-Wingers,

Today I write with a heavy heart, that our precious X-Wing community has been trampled into dust.

We lowly local mortals of the X-Wing world are now simply, shadows and dust.

In case you are unsure of what I am referring to, I point you to the new ruling within the tournament regulations called "Intentional Draws". To briefly summarize, if players would like to intentionally draw, they agree to a tie game rather than playing it out. No shoosting, no fancy flying, just chilling and agreeing to not play the game.

At first this does not seem like much, but in higher level play you can end up with some sticky scenarios where those holding the top places can intentionally tie and typically make the top 4 or 8 cut depending on the size of the tournament. Talk about some slim shady (man that was one of the best songs ever, am I right?) business going down.

As the regional tournament scene heats up and the stakes become even higher, we run into some folks using the intentional draw.

Then this dropped on my bookface page:




MIC DROP!

I am not entirely sure who this Doug  Kinny fellow is, but I hear he perfected the TIE swarm and won some stuff. He had some nice words for this other fellow who apparently has won some stuff as well.

Then came a lovely article well written article by a good friend of the bar the Table Top General.

Dang, this stuff is getting more intense and seems to have hit a nerve with some X-Wing players.

And, another article from Rule 37.

And this post on Reddit.

And another one.

This list goes on and one it would seem.

So players are pissed. As am I. As you should be as well. However, here is the caveat: the rules are the rules, and as such we must abide by them. We do not have to respect them, but we must adhere to the rules until they are altered.

This also includes TOURNAMENT ORGANIZERS.

I have heard of a few TOs who are refusing to acknowledge this ruling as they feel it falls into the unsporting conduct area of the game. However, I strongly disagree. The rules read as follows:

Unsporting Conduct
"Players are expected to behave in a mature and considerate manner, and to play within the rules and not abuse them. This prohibits intentionally stalling a game for time, placing components with excessive force, inappropriate behavior, treating an opponent with a lack of courtesy or respect, cheating, etc. Collusion among players to manipulate scoring is expressly forbidden. Players cannot reference outside material or information during a round. However, players may reference official rule documents at any time or ask a judge for clarification from official rule documents.
The organizer, at his or her sole discretion, may remove players from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct."

But but but Nic, isn't collusion wrong? Ins't an intentional draw collusion? NO! As the rules read currently, intentional draws are not unsporting behavior but fall within the realm of the tournament rules (as of March 16th, 2016). As such, this is not unsporting.

To ignore this rule or state that you will not adhere to it as a TO is flat out wrong. If you do not like it, then do not be a TO. Plain and simple.

Some might disagree with me (you are welcome to as this is an opinion article), however the rules are the rules. Feel free to rage, rant, yell, scream, and flip tables (actually don't miniatures are expensive and fragile).

Most of us can agree that we would never do this in competitive play, but I imagine it would be very tempting in order to secure a place within the cut. I know I would personally refuse to do so (as I enjoy playing the game and I do not get to play in tournaments as much as I like), however it is rather seductive. Careful, those thoughts are one that lead to a pathway some might consider...unnatural. If anyone at our local store, Galactic Comics and Games, intentionally draws (outside of a tournament) I will throw rotten fruit at them until they run away in shame.

Here is a simple way to avoid this ruling: WIN!

Rant over. Go shoot some Palp mobiles or whatever folks and enjoy using, abusing, or flat out ignoring the rules.