Monday, 6 March 2017

"Uncertain, the future is" - FAQ 4.3 Errata

I've been quite open about wanting something to be done about the current competitive metagame and so I'm delighted that FFG have today acted to begin rectifying what I, and many other players, saw as a badly corrupted metagame with a few dominant lists and upgrades that made a slew of ships almost useless in a competitive setting.

Did I get everything I would have wanted?  No, of course not - I'm still worried about Ordnance and frustrated by Push The Limit - but these four card errata are all big steps in the right direction!

Hopefully the new metagame that develops will be a bit more varied and interesting.  I think it will take time to see just how far the likes of Paratanni and Commonwealth Defenders have fallen and what new lists rise up to exploit their new weaknesses, but I much prefer not knowing what the future holds over playing Defenders and Manaroo back to back for two whole months.

And I certainly look forward to trying out the Phoenix Squadron in this brave new world - I think they like this FAQ a whole lot!  Maybe my Ahsoka's TIE wasn't just a vanity project destined to sit on a shelf after all...

No idea who made this but I love it!...


  1. First of all, I really appreciate your work on this blog. I have learned much about X-Wing just by reading your articles.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing how the tournament scene adjusts to the card changes. I'm especially curious about what will happen to Manaroo; will Manaroo disappear or be used in a more limited role?

    Great job!

    1. I'm glad you like it, and that I've been able to help!

      Of all the cards I think Manaroo got hit the hardest and she really has to change her role - she's no longer a unique support ship but she's still 'Contracted Scout: Collector's Edition' and with the Jumpmaster chassis she's still attractively priced.

      I mean, look at Kyle Katarn's HWK (similar ability) you're paying just 6pts more for Manaroo but getting an extra red dice on a turret, another 4 hull/shield, a MUCH better dial and the advantage of being a large-based ship. That's a heck of a deal.

      If you look at Paratanni then I think Asajj and Manaroo can work as a tight team quite well and stick in range 1 quite often. Fenn Rau is the tricky one - he's already the weakest point in the list and now he's either tied to Manaroo for his extra tokens or carries on flanking as he likes to but is now living on a knife edge. I can imagine Manaroo/Asajj continuing but Fenn Rau being replaced with something that fits better - 32pts will buy you a Mindlinked Torp Scout, for instance.

  2. Hi David,

    Love your work, and I like your assessment of Manaroo in the comment above, but I'm just wondering if you could unpack that comment about being "worried" about ordnance, are you suggesting it's too weak or too strong.

    Forgive my ignorance as I'm not a tournament player (mostly through being in the back end of nowhere, country Australia)

    1. Ordnance: so much about the stat-line of ships, especially early ships, has been tested around 2 and 3 dice attacks, and a lot of the time that you'll have to work quite hard to modify those dice more than just a Focus-worth. It's baked into the expected survival time of a lot of ships - how many attacks they'll likely be able to withstand, etc.

      Ordnance attacks throw more dice, now with stuff like Guidance Chips they're also very reliably turning those dice into hits and crits. That messes with the underlying balance of stat-costing and so when Ordnance is prevalent you get ships that are under a certain level of survivability simply being pushed out of the game. This is what happened when Jumpmasters took over, and to some extent the triple K-Wing lists we see at the moment are hitting similar buttons, although punishing slightly different ships more badly than the Jumps did.

      The fundamental issue with Ordnance is that is awkward to use compared to Primary weapons, as it has requirements of range and target locks etc. That means it's only worth taking when the payoff in firepower is enough better than just dogfighting, but if it's too much better than it simply replaces dogfighting altogether. The sweet spot for that game design balance is verrrry small.

      When I see all-Jumps, all-Ks lists etc on the table it makes me worry because those sorts of lists are very oppressive of what can stand against them. I like seeing lists including an Ordnance carrier - Miranda, Deathfire, Bossk - but I worry when that's not part of a more balanced squad.

      Part of my thinks a boat was missed with Ordnance somewhere along the line - it should be more effective against large ships, the answer that comes into the metagame when overpowered big ships take over. Leave the small ships to dogfight and the bombers to deal big hits to the Decimators and YTs of this world.

    2. With Ordnance and other attacks being able to reliably put out 3-6 dice of hits, I've dumped Sensor Jammer for Reinforced Deflectors. In my last out with an Upsilon shuttle, it proc'd four times, leaving me at 1 Hull before finally dying.

  3. In other news I've tried you Phoenix Squadron, and just can't get it work. I have built a Upsilon Shuttle with Mauler and 2 Black Squadron TiE's with Snapshot, and it seems to be working ok.

    Also toying around with Ashoka, Captured TiE, Sabine stuff with 2 Bombing Wardens.

  4. I have played phoenix squadron too...the problem is the difference between the A-wings and the Fighters, the have similar maneuvers but different actions (in particular boost and barrel roll), i had 3 games on vassal (still not a huge number of games) i won 2 and lost 1 (lost badly). Is a squadron heavy related to movement and understanding your opponent. Can be deadly but also lose hard. I need some other games to understand if I can play this squadron in the regional next week.

    1. Sabine can keep up with the A-Wings with her boost, but yeah Ahsoka can struggle sometimes. You're not really locked into a formation though so it's not a terrible problem.

      It's a squad that really makes the numbers count so if you lose a couple of ships early it's an uphill battle.