22 April 2014

Epic Format Rules Revealed!

Man, it seems like it's been ages since I did anything but talk about new stuff on here, but well, here we go again.

Yesterday, FFG pulled the curtain back on one of the new game formats they've been hinting around at since the Huge ships were first partially revealed. Yes, as you've probably already heard or at least perhaps noticed in the title of this article, it was the Epic Rules.

We all kinda knew that the Epic rules involved games at points above 100, but other than that, we didn't know much at all. Now of course we do.

First, here's a direct link to the Epic Tournament Rules.

You'll notice the Epic Rules pretty closely follow the Tournament Rules I talked about yesterday. Lots of the same verbiage regarding TO participation, component modification, sportsmanship, etc., etc., right? I'm not going to rehash all that business. Instead, I'll just talk about what makes Epic, well epic and we'll just kind of go from there, ok?

Epic Dogfight Tournament Rules
Right on, so the biggest difference between Epic and standard here is the points level- Epic Dogfights have the two opponents squaring off with 300 point lists. As the point total is three times higher than a normal match, the time limit is increased accordingly as well- 180 minutes is the standard which can be turned down to 150 minutes or up to 210 so long as the increase or decrease is conveyed to the players in advance.

In addition to the 300 points, players are also allowed 5 Epic Points which can be spent on Huge ships. Note that you still have to pay for the ship (and upgrades) in standard points like normal- Epic Points just more or less encourages you to not just buy three 'Vettes and roll that (I guess) for your Epic list. The Transport is worth 2 Epic points, the Tantive is worth 3 Epic Points, by the way.

Points aside, the final limiter on what you can field in Epic is another slightly modified standard dogfight idea- players are limited to no more than 12 small ships of the same type or 6 large ships of the same type. Again, just to clarify, a TIE Fighter is a TIE Fighter is a TIE Fighter. What I mean by that is different pilots don't count as ship types. Whether you're talking about the multitude of X-Wing pilots that'll be available very soon or the myriad of available TIE Fighter pilots, 12 total is all you have for that.

Much like upping the time limit, you'd expect that Epic matches are played on an area larger than 3' x 3'. You'd be right expecting that. Epic matches are played on a 6' x 3' area with the long edges being "player edges" (just like a 40k table's orientation, in other words with the long edges to the players and the short edges on the sides).

Deployment pretty well follows Tournament rules, but you drop 12 asteroids on the table rather than just 6 and in what I assume is an an effort to speed things up a bit, players drop them two at a time starting with the guy who holds initiative. Huge ships are then dropped before large or small ships and are deployed in such a way that at least part of its base is touching the player edge. Note that this Huge ship deployment step is actually separate from the large and small ship step, so you and your buddy are going to drop all of the Huge ships before you start dropping the smaller stuff. Oh, and the smaller, and by smaller I do mean both Large and Small, stuff can now be dropped at Range 1-2 from the Player Edge instead of just Range 1.

Past that, pretty much everything else is the same- win conditions, points earned for Match Win, Modified Match Win, 12 point differential, etc. The only difference here is a couple of restrictions-

1) Biggs' card text doesn't work for folks attacking Huge ships
2) Luke, Gunner, and Navigator can't be Crew Members on Huge ships

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Well, that sounds really cool, but man, I don't know if I have 300 points available in my personal collection. I wish there was some way I could team up with a pal to play one of these huge games."

Lucky you, because...

Epic Dogfight Tournament Team Rules
This has me more excited than a farm boy going to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters. Yes aficionados, you can play an officially sanctioned team game in this Epic format! How cool is that?

Differences between Team Epic and Epic are pretty much what you'd expect- essentially, what was a 1v1 game in normal Epic is now 2v2. The teams must both use the same Faction, and if your buddy uses a dotted card, that card is unavailable to your squadron.

Additionally, instead of 300 points with 5 Epic points, players build 200 point squads with 3 Epic points available. Similarly, instead of being limited to 12 Small ships and 6 Large ships of the same type, Team Epic limits you to 8 Small ships and 4 Large ships of the same type.

Teams must nominate a Captain who ends up being the guy that turns in the lists for both players on the team. Captains are also the guys who do the asteroid placement which works exactly the same as Epic- 12 obstacles total dropped in two at a time.

All of the players are required to show up with a core set (why? I don't know either- seems kinda redundant), and while point 3 under Deployment kinda gives the impression that the team shares a damage deck, later on under Damage Cards sub-heading, you get the impression that each player has his own damage deck for his ships. I think everyone will have their own decks and point 3 is just kind of an inadvertent copy-paste kind of thing, but maybe they'll clarify it a little for us in a newer version.

The rule in the main X-Wing Rulebook about Table Talk in team settings is overruled in Epic Team- you can talk as much as you want and you can even show your teammate your maneuver dials.

Past that, it's pretty well the same.

I don't know about you guys, but between this and Escalation, I'm pretty stoked about these new ways of playing the game. Seems like tournaments are going to take forever nowdays, but it oughta be fun regardless! If I'm honest, the idea of playing a 1v1 Epic game in an actual tournament setting seems daunting to say the least, but a 2v2 match seems like a blast, not to mention being slightly easier on the old wallet. I think most everybody who has been into this game for awhile could probably put together a pretty competitive 200 point list with the stuff they've got lying around, right? Even without Huge ships? I think so.

I do wonder if the Huge ships will be worth their points in this kind of setting though. I mean, right off the bat you kind of look at it and if you're Rebels, you're considering whether or not you go with your standard 100 point list, throw in a Huge ship or two, and fill-in whatever's left. You kinda feel like the Imperials get left out as they don't have any Huge ships yet. Still though, you start to consider just how many Small and Large Imperials you could stick in a 200 or 300 point list and you start to wonder if those Huge ships will be able to justify their points cost.

Here's to looking forward to finding out!