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eje005

Sorylian Advantages

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6 minutes ago, eje005 said:

That looks like it's the same as far as cruiser broadsides are concerned, and that they have more as far as heavy cruiser broadsides are concerned.   I guess regular cruisers have mines and the cloaking field and stealth systems too.  All for the same points cost.

You seem to be moving the goal post here.  You were talking about AD now your talking about defenses.  I think we can agree Sorylians could be adjusted closer to the middle but those changes should also preserve their uniqueness.  

 

Sorylians are about optimal positioning (even more so than Dindrenzi arguably since I believe the Din niche is "powerful attacks").  Improvements would ideally help them move into position by either getting there faster; being in better shape when they get there, or some combination of the two. 

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9 minutes ago, Captain Frederic said:

You seem to be moving the goal post here.  You were talking about AD now your talking about defenses.  I think we can agree Sorylians could be adjusted closer to the middle but those changes should also preserve their uniqueness.  

I was conceding that the Relthoza cruisers are similar in guns with the exception of mines.  I was reading the wrong stat line for the initial statement.

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I wasn't going to make this post because I already have to start it by apologizing for two things.  But my mental santiy depends on venting and typing out my logic here.  

Firstly, I don't know if editing shows as a new post, so apologies for doubling up.

Secondly, I apologize for possibly blowing up the Sorylian home-forums with a bunch of crying and whining even after it appears most people are agreeing with me, but like I said, this is important to my mental health.  It serves to organize my thoughts, expand on new ones, and there's always some little small hope that someone points out something I'm missing that just makes all the other pieces fall into place.  If I do one single thing in my life, it's attempt to understand things on a rational level.  When it's subjective things, I at least try to identify and supplement logic into what ever the topic is.  I don't understand this.

I know I said in the first post that I didn't want to get mathy with it but I'm afraid I need to after digging through some more stats.  Today we're comparing Sorylian's to their natural ally, Veydreth(-ians?  -ites?).  Just looking at the base stats and then some short conclusions and discussion about optional upgrades.  Warning, this could get a little silly, and over all isn't meant to be inflammatory, or an overabundance of crying.  It's meant to be a humorous, but also factual with a bit of interpretation, look at two ships.  I do invite you to follow along in your PDFs, and leave comments or criticism of course!

Battleship!

The Battleships are so easily comparable it is the exact reason that spun me out into an out of control spiral where papers got glued to walls with colored strings on push pins connecting things which inevitably devolved into scribbling on the wall and empty coffee cups, and cocaine dust on the floor.  

First line of stats:  From the perspective of the Veydreth: one less AP, one more CP, two more PD, two more HP, one less shield.  All else the same.  Mines are included in the weapon section, which is next! Overall very slight advantage to Veydreth.  The loss of a shield is substituted with more HP, and if you think those don't balance out, then throw in the extra PD bonus and that should balance the scales.  

Weapons Systems:  This is where I can feel the confusion set in.  I'm going to get excited here.  Only kind of for entertainment value.  It's BETTER!  It's BETTER!  It's BETTER in EVERY single way!  BOTH ships have their weapons mounted on the broadsides.  All the range bands have MORE dice, at LONGER range bands. Except the torpedoes at 24" and beyond no one cares about one torpedo dice because we're not done.  In addition to having more dice, they're LAZORS.  They re-roll misses at close opponents!  Sorylians have scatter though.  But consider re-rolling misses against difficult targets.  It's basically the same thing as not suffering the -1 to hit.  ALSO MINES.  MINES!  Because having MORE dice in ALL areas, having better ranges, and having better weapon rules was too weak, so give it MINES!  Overwhelming, aneurysm-inducing advantage to Veydreth!

 MARs: Double Mines!  If there was an emoji where my nose was bleeding from the level of "WTF" blasting my brain to shreds right now I would put it here.  It's double mines.  For the most part, that means it lays mines of 7 instead of 5.  But occasionally it could be useful to lay two 5's as well.  Vulnerable is obviously a negative trait.  It just increases the odds of your super epic amazing battleship getting blown up on double ones.  What do the lizards have?  Experienced Engineers.  Ok, that's pretty solid actually.  I dig it.  Reinforced port/starboard.  Hey, that's cool too.  Personally, I don't think vulnerable is that big a deal, but I can totally understand the argument that it is a big deal.  So I'll meet you half way.  TIE!

Upgrade Options: There's a lot here, and there's far too many combinations for me to go into detail about with any real relevance.  Both ships have some good options.  It's important to note that the Veydreth ship can buy off that Vulnerable MAR so really, anything the Sorylian ship could have done with upgrades is going to be matched by at leas that. I'm not considering this section for the final conclusion, but if I were, it'd be slight advantage Veydreth.

 

Conclusion:  It's obvious.  It's so obvious.  If you made it this far it's because I kept you mildly amused in writing or because you're that bored.  That's how obvious it is!  Veydreth.  Always.  Forever.  The base ships are 5 points apart, with the Veydreth being the more expensive one.  For those 5 points you get better....almost everything.  And what isn't better isn't THAT worse!  I know I said upgrades weren't included, but lets pretend for a second that the Vulnerable was just hard coded into the cost, making the ship 20 points more expensive than the Sorylian one, and having one less hardpoint.  Veydreth still wins.  Still overwhelmingly so.  

What's really got me down about all this is, unless I'm wrong in all of this which would make this post a bit of a moot point, IT'S SO OBVIOUS!  How is this not clear as day?  It's one of those things that you GLANCE at and go "Hm, that looks a bit weird, I better dig deeper to see why it only looks better on the surface."  But it's NOT!  It's NOT just an illusion.  It's SO MUCH better!  Objectively so!  I'm not a table top game writer, but HOW didn't this get seen?  WHY didn't it get FIXED in one of the many updates?  They publish the stats in PDFs and there's already new ships that make the Alliance books half useless, why not just up and fix the stats in a PDF?

I don't want to just leave it with me pointing out there's a hole in the dam and not trying to plug it.  There's plenty of suggestions on these forums for what to do with Sorylians.  Even something so disgustingly simple as Lower The Points Costs would be fine.  Perfect even.  I just don't get what Sorylian's are paying for.  Why are the points equal when the ships so clearly aren't?  Having weaker ships is fine.  Having weaker ships that you pay the same price as everyone else for is not!

 

Ok so you made it this far.  Thank you.  I'd like to just apologize one more time for this, but I really really really needed to do it.  It's baffling.  And if I didn't sort this out I would probably have lost sleep over it.  I genuinely believe that beneath the layers of passive aggressive angry nerd there's some decent information here, even if just for learning what other ships can do and how to fight them how to not lose to them  ...just learning what other ships can do.  So if you liked this, great!  Let me know, or don't.  If you actually want more, let me know, I obviously like typing a lot so maybe I'll try to dial down the nerd rage and make it more informative.  Or, as I suspect you probably want, if you want me to shut up, also let me know.  I'll stop.  As mentioned, I don't mean to be a whiner, but I just wanted to get this off my chest.  However if this is an unacceptable way to do it, I'll cease.

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Welcome to the world of tabletop game design?

Firestorm Armada isn't without its flaws.  It has balance issues, which is baffling considering that Spartan Games looks like it has embraced the digital age with free, online PDF rules.  But even with these flaws, I challenge anyone to find a better balanced system with so many options.

 There are 22 different factions, and I don't know how many different ships statlines... Let's say 100.  Balancing 100 different units is basically impossible; if it were easy, competative MOBAs wouldn't have this insane comp system... and every single MOBA game generates quantifiable play-test data.

Or look at Starcraft... Can you image the insane difficulty Blizzard would have balancing it for the multi-million dollar tournament scene if they doubled the number of units in the game?  That might bring them to the number of units in the Core 6 FSA factions.

Sadly, the same stuff you just pointed out was also pointed out in these forums about two years ago... and nothing has changed.  Of course, Spartan was just starting the 343 negotiations and Planetfall ruleset then, and likely has the same number of game design employees.

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To be fair, you missed Weapon Shielding (mandatory option IMHO) on the Sorylian BB and did not include Reinforced P/S in defenses.

Given that, they are very comparable ships, although the Falx could use a slight upgrade to be more comparable to other factions BBs,

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21 minutes ago, alextroy said:

To be fair, you missed Weapon Shielding (mandatory option IMHO) on the Sorylian BB and did not include Reinforced P/S in defenses.

Given that, they are very comparable ships, although the Falx could use a slight upgrade to be more comparable to other factions BBs,

I tried not to conclude too much about the added possible upgrades because they're too niche.  Weapon Shielding is great until you fight biohazard/internet hacking Directorate.  I did mention Reinforced, but kind of blanketed over it as a general small positive.  Reinforced is obviously good to have, but I don't think it goes far enough to cover the gap between the ships.

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Comparing individual ships isn't as effective as comparing overall fleets.

yes the Veydreth battleship is probably better but the Sorylian frigates are definitely superior in their class.  Meanwhile in the mid range things are a lot more competitive.

 

you don't play battleship versus battleship you play fleet versus fleet.

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Well like I said though, it's not an issue of having weaker ships, it's an issue of having weaker ships with out them being discounted.  Or having the discount put somewhere else.  I'm not really sure I can agree with the frigates being superior.

Isn't the entire concept of having a points cost meant to give you what you pay for?  So if our battleship is inferior, at least it's cheaper so we can make up the difference with upgrades, or more ships, or anything?  Isn't the purpose of points so that my 175 point battleship is almost equal to your 180 point battleship?

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Not always? Because of tier minimums, it's more comprable to say "we have points so that my 500 points of ships are equal to your 500 points of ships." Granted, that's only true to an extent- most people would agree that the Falx is at least mildly overcosted, but expecting two similar ships to be similarly costed is a fallacy due to aforementioned reasoning.

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9 hours ago, Hive said:

Not always? Because of tier minimums, it's more comprable to say "we have points so that my 500 points of ships are equal to your 500 points of ships." Granted, that's only true to an extent- most people would agree that the Falx is at least mildly overcosted, but expecting two similar ships to be similarly costed is a fallacy due to aforementioned reasoning.

Ok, but why go through the complex process of making one ship over costed, and then making another ship under costed and having to figure out just how much you have to close the gap back to even?  When simply making the points reflect what you get, thus the over costed ship should be cheaper, and the under costed ship should be more expensive.  It nets out to the exact same but it's much more easy to develop as far as rules go, and it's much easier to spot as far as players understanding what a ship can do.

It'd be like taking three right turns definitely equals to the same thing as taking a left turn but it's a lot more work and less clear of what you're intending to everyone else.  And you still have to cross traffic (depending on what country you're in, in which case inverse the analogy), so why do all the work?

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Because, aside from a few anomalies, the "adjusted for context" system makes for better balance in a game where squads tend to fire as one but be targeted as individuals, the increments by which defenses increase increase in value every step, and accompaniments on Large Capitols need to be viable without being mandatory. Apologies for the ensuing breakdown.

 

I would look at the body of work Ryjak has done in terms of looking at how Battleships impact a patrol game- the short version would be that while they do not dominate the game offensively, they do dominate it defensively. At values 600 and below, you end up with BB slugging matches. There are a multitude of reasons why, but that's besides the point I'm making, which is that in isolation, 300 points of average cruisers and frigates will have a hard time taking down a 200 point Battleship in the span of 6 game turns. At the same time, that Battleship will likely have neutered the ability of those cruisers and frigates to hurt the BB, but will likely not have wiped either squad.  By the logic of balancing statistics to each other directly, your average BB should cost just shy of 300 points- Would you pay 270 for the Falx in an average game? Hell. No. By that same token, tier restrictions do all sorts of strange things to gameplay that I think most people appreciate- painting broad strokes, you have cheap hulls that are easy to hurt but waste overkill (both in only havng two hull and DT burning some firepower), middle hulls that oft carry disproportionate firepower to their defenses and lose more per hull lost than either the larger or smaller ships do for losing a similar amount of HP, and large hulls that hang around longer and burn enemy shots by having a higher threshhold of defenses. All of these things have different uses in terms of objectives, Admiral protection, and what you can afford to commit to shunt entry and flanking, and that's before you get to how individual ship classes differentiate themselves from similar hulls.

 

I can't speak for Sorylians, and looking at stats I would say that the Falx is undercosted, but not because of how it compares to other ships. It's undercosted because the things it's good at offensively are already covered by the rest of your fleet; it's undercosted because your fleet doesn't have a good seat for your Admiral until Dreads are in play; It's undercosted because it's a slow broadsider in a fleet that already has broadsiders and needs something that supports its high-impact T2s and T3s, rather than doing the same thing later in the game. None of that changes no matter how much the Veydreth Battleship or any other Battleship costs- it's actually a really bad comparison because the Veydreth BB is in the same boat, being slightly overcosted for doing nothing its fleet doesn't already do, particularly with how squishy Veydreth already are. The Veydreth BB looks AMAZING in a Sorylian fleet, or -would- if it could be your only T1. The same would be true if you were able to transplant the Falx into a Veydreth fleet as the lone T1. That alone should tell you that something other than what a ship does in isolation is important for costing it in a balanced manner.

 

I'm going to use a fleet I'm more familiar with as a secondary example. The Relthozan BB is a monster- its stats don't make it look like much, but with BB level DR/CR combined with a cloak and then self-repair when it's not cloaked, it is stupidly survivable. In a ship-to-ship comparison, outright it should probably cost 10 more points than it does. At the same time, though, Relth Cruisers, as I've crunched numbers like crazy since my last horrendous tournament defeat, are basically garbage for 60 points until you fit a BB in the list, at which point they are worth their weight in gold. Here's the point, though:

  1. This is not the only working fleet build for Relthozans; there are other core builds that work just as well
  2. There are other extremely good iterations of the Cruiser squad (ie., W/ Heavy added, as an accompaniment to a Carrier, Cruiser leading Light Cruisers) that make sense points-wise under the current paradigm and would not if you adjusted the BB up and Cruisers down in points
  3. Even with a 5 point drop, Relth cruisers would be stupidly spammable, BB or no
  4. As a whole, Relth trend towards slightly overcosted on their mainstays, particularly when their signature upgrades are taken; ergo this combo, like others, while extremely effective does not make them unbeatable.

All in all, Firestorm is probably one of the -most- balanced games on the market, while also having more factions than any other game (what, like 21? I wanna say 21.) and using this paradigm. That's anecdotal evidence, of course, but that anecdote combined with the fact that there's been a serious amount of reasoning on the subject, and the people who keep playing and keep talking and keep winning (were that I could join that last group...) are the people who keep crunching the numbers and see only a handful of instances where the paradigm fails (and, as in this case have a good explanation as to why something is going wrong) and see that it's not by much is fairly compelling.

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I genuinely don't see a reason in that breakdown that the convoluted and awkward system of having expensive trash in exchange for having cheaper other things is at all different from just paying for what you get.  If the BB is weak, then so be it, but there is no purpose to making it a dead weight that has to rely on under costed units to make up for the loss.  Not only does this system provide no added depth than having everything cost what it should actually be valued at, but it also makes it difficult for a new player or even an experienced table top gamer to understand where exactly those points are meant to be made up.  If they wanted to encourage the coupling of ships that compliment other ships' weaknesses then they should have supplied either a more advanced fleet building mechanic, or a text suggesting why the two ships should be purchased together.

In addition, if you're going to suppose that the Relthoza cruiser is garbage then so is the Sorylian one because they're almost exactly the same.  I don't genuinely see how 5 points off the cruiser would make it spammable considering you'd need to buy 11 cruisers just to get one free and that number is so large you've already met your allotment for T2 ships for 1200 point games. 

My complaint isn't that the Veydreth covers aspects of the Sorylian fleet that the Swordbreaker doesn't.  My complaint is that the Veydreth ship is better in every role.  The Swordbreaker does not supply powerful broadsides to a fleet that already has powerful broadsides, it supplies weak broadsides in comparison to its cost, so what am I buying?  If the rest of the Sorylian fleet had weak broadsides, and I was buying the Swordbreaker to fill the gap I would still be disappointed, because it doesn't fill that gap, because it's weaker in almost every aspect and only equivalent in others all for the same price.

Ultimately, if the goal of the system of asymmetrical points costing is to make your fleet of 800 points balanced against my fleet of 800 points it fails to reach that goal in a key area.  Under that system your 800 points are only equivalent to my 800 points if we've both taken the appropriate models that make up for the asymmetrical pricing.  This system actually encourages less diverse fleet building by suggesting that the reason one ship is so bad and costs so much is because you're supposed to buy its companion squad where it makes the points back.  Where as a system where the points are priced according to what you get would truly make a system where 800 points is equivalent to 800 points.

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Let's stop using the word "should," first. I'm going to address the most problematic line of thinking first, that 

5 hours ago, eje005 said:

if you're going to suppose that the Relthoza cruiser is garbage then so is the Sorylian one because they're almost exactly the same.  I don't genuinely see how 5 points off the cruiser would make it spammable considering you'd need to buy 11 cruisers just to get one free and that number is so large you've already met your allotment for T2 ships for 1200 point games. 

  • 6 Cruisers would net you 30 whole points- not enough to buy something on its own, but when you listbuild that's enough space to up a squad of something else or buy critical upgrades. 30 spare points is a massive amount of flexibility. At 330 for two squads, it would almost be a gimme- you should look into how dramatically perceptions of the Relth Heavy Cruiser changed when it dropped 5 points per model to understand how big a deal 5 whole points can be.
  • The Sorylian Cruiser comes in groups of 4. This means that with similar AD pools, the Sorylian Cruiser links to 20 AD in its best range band while the Relth cruiser only links to 18. In the front, 15 to Relth's 12. In addition, a loss in the Sorylian squad still leaves you with 16 AD, the Relth lose a ship and are down to 12. They form a bigger PD pool, and both start with and maintain a significantly more threatening AP pool.
  • On that same note, the Sorylian Cruiser group gives less BL per points. While it (naturally) costs more for the squad, larger squad size is -not- an advantage to overlook.
  • Cloaks do all sorts of weird things to defensive profiles- the Assassin is arguably better defended, but will likely do nothing on the approach and will likely still lose a ship before being in combat range. Because of the way ships link, a squad of 3 ships will always get at least 3 AD on them, which is still threatening to their 4/6 profile. In this sense, Sory Cruisers are just plain better- the additional CR is nothing to be ignored on Cruiser-sized hulls, you can conceivably strike on the advance, and you can tank a loss of a whole ship in a way the Relth cruisers cannot.
5 hours ago, eje005 said:

My complaint isn't that the Veydreth covers aspects of the Sorylian fleet that the Swordbreaker doesn't.  My complaint is that the Veydreth ship is better in every role.  The Swordbreaker does not supply powerful broadsides to a fleet that already has powerful broadsides, it supplies weak broadsides in comparison to its cost, so what am I buying?  If the rest of the Sorylian fleet had weak broadsides, and I was buying the Swordbreaker to fill the gap I would still be disappointed, because it doesn't fill that gap, because it's weaker in almost every aspect and only equivalent in others all for the same price.

You may not realize this, but it's exactly what you're arguing. Nothing you're listing as better matters to a Veydreth player- the Predator is "Battleship Tax." Its guns are better than the Falx, but by no means great, and its biggest pools are comparable. Everything else the Veydreth have do the same thing on a cheaper, more flexible hull, and most do it while being able to Ambush forward and press the Veydreth offensive advantage. The Predator, on the other hand, is a sitting duck in that regard. Defensively, it has no active defenses. Paired with Vulnerable, it's likely to take crit after crit, and usually, unless it decided to buy off Vulnerable, bad ones. It also has no accompaniment options- nothing can boost its damage, nothing can up its PD. The two hull and 1 CR stop meaning much at that point. The Falx has defenses that can explode, and that is a huge deal. That's something that will shave off crits that the Predator has to take on the nose. So, yes, how ships play to the strengths and weaknesses of their home fleets is an appreciable factor in how things are costed. Side note, most BBs are weaker, weapon-wise, than their T2 counterparts, a trait exaggerated by the fact that you can't unlink their weapons against smaller targets.

 

7 hours ago, eje005 said:

I genuinely don't see a reason in that breakdown that the convoluted and awkward system of having expensive trash in exchange for having cheaper other things is at all different from just paying for what you get.  If the BB is weak, then so be it, but there is no purpose to making it a dead weight that has to rely on under costed units to make up for the loss.  Not only does this system provide no added depth than having everything cost what it should actually be valued at, but it also makes it difficult for a new player or even an experienced table top gamer to understand where exactly those points are meant to be made up.  If they wanted to encourage the coupling of ships that compliment other ships' weaknesses then they should have supplied either a more advanced fleet building mechanic, or a text suggesting why the two ships should be purchased together.

I made the point with a specific pair of ships, but a Relth Dread would also cover the same ground in terms of aiding the Cruisers' viability, as would playing a larger game where threat saturation is high, as does using different iterations of the squad rather than just pure cruisers... See my bullet points. There's no real value of trying to get the ships to work in a vacuum when they'll never operate in a vacuum. Priced in a vacuum, your extremes of pricing would get more extreme; see my comment on the interaction between ships of different sizes and of similar points under the current paradigm. 

 

7 hours ago, eje005 said:

Ultimately, if the goal of the system of asymmetrical points costing is to make your fleet of 800 points balanced against my fleet of 800 points it fails to reach that goal in a key area.  Under that system your 800 points are only equivalent to my 800 points if we've both taken the appropriate models that make up for the asymmetrical pricing.  This system actually encourages less diverse fleet building by suggesting that the reason one ship is so bad and costs so much is because you're supposed to buy its companion squad where it makes the points back.  Where as a system where the points are priced according to what you get would truly make a system where 800 points is equivalent to 800 points.

Again, I used a specific pair of ships to illustrate a wider principle. My intent was not to demonstrate that particular pairs of ship classes were designed to work together or are priced as a cluster, but to show how fleet comp in general makes pricing items in a vacuum an exercise in futility. In an open fleet comp system, I would agree with you, but the tier restrictions do a good number of interesting things that partially make this game worthwhile.

 

This is... an interesting conversation, particularly since there's already a general consensus that the Falx is overcosted, as well as a good insight into why the Sorylian stats probably need work as a whole. 

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I'm not going to go into further discussion on whose cruisers suck more because that's really not the point.  But for the most part I did not find your bullet points convincing, or even relevant occasionally.

As for the more interesting discussion, if there's no point in costing things to their value in a vacuum, then there's no point in costing them at all.  You cannot possibly make the argument that pricing things should include all the variables possible ever.  If you say that pricing things in a vacuum is ridiculous because it never happens then pricing things for all the variables is also ridiculous because it also never happens. 

How exactly would a fleet be any different if the ships were priced in a vacuum.  I pose to you the situation where someone makes an 800 point list under the abstract and 'composition' based system, and then makes an identical list under the system where you get what you pay for.  If both pricing schemes achieve their goal and were done correctly the lists would be identical in total, and in ships.  The difference would be that instead of X points invested in a T1 slot, it's only X - Y, and those Y points that aren't in T1, are in fact where ever the fleet has its strengths.  Unless using victory points, this difference has no actual affect on the game play.

The purpose of a points system is that two people can build lists that add up to the same value and that those two fleets will have a balanced game.  Under a system where certain units are more points effective than others the gap between two equally priced fleets is widened.  This is not new player friendly as it is not only incredibly obtuse, but it is also very poorly explained or discussed, and while you may call it 'fleet composition' I would call it 'finding the most efficient units'.  While it's not so extreme a case as some other table top games, having units that are too expensive for what they do just leads to players finding ways to not use them ever.  

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On 7/4/2016 at 4:19 PM, blut_und_glas said:

Just two quick questions, eje005:

  1. How much is a Terran Aegis shield cruiser?
  2. Do you confirm that under your "absolute vacuum" pricing paradigm, a Relthozan Aegis should cost exactly the same as the Terran one?

If it is an identical ship, absolutely.

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So, what you are saying is, that 50 points is a perfectly balanced price to pay for a model that substantially increases the effectiveness of the shields on other models within its fleet, equally for both a fleet with at least one shield on all of its available ship types, two or more shields on fully half of its ship types (including all Tier 1 choices) and where more than half of the ships have an option to increase their shield rating via hardpoints or upgrades on the one hand, and for a fleet with exactly no other ships with shields on the other hand?

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46 minutes ago, blut_und_glas said:

So, what you are saying is, that 50 points is a perfectly balanced price to pay for a model that substantially increases the effectiveness of the shields on other models within its fleet, equally for both a fleet with at least one shield on all of its available ship types, two or more shields on fully half of its ship types (including all Tier 1 choices) and where more than half of the ships have an option to increase their shield rating via hardpoints or upgrades on the one hand, and for a fleet with exactly no other ships with shields on the other hand?

Yes. I think you're misunderstanding the concept.  Having a system where you get what you pay for does not mean that all factions have access to the same things.  The variety and balance comes in between what factions have access to what. It means that my 800 point fleet is equal to your 800 point fleet.  The system in which some ships are over priced and other's are under priced is convoluted, obtuse, and unnecessarily so.

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49 minutes ago, alextroy said:

A Terran Shield Cruiser is 50 Points whether taken in a Terran, Aquan, or Sorylian Fleet.  Are you saying it should get a discount if taken by Sorylians since they have less shields then Terrsns?

See, that's an interesting angle, but as the Kurak Alliance is vaguely the Shielded Alliance, it makes sense- everything but frigates in a Sorylian list -can- benefit from it, even if they don't by default. Plus, since you can't take sheild cruisers except as accompaniments outside of a Terran fleet, you're always bringing something that bennefits from them.

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1 hour ago, alextroy said:

A Terran Shield Cruiser is 50 Points whether taken in a Terran, Aquan, or Sorylian Fleet.  Are you saying it should get a discount if taken by Sorylians since they have less shields then Terrsns?

An excellent question. That is exactly the point where it really starts to get both interesting and difficult, which is why I chose the more extreme (and non-sensical) Relthoza example as a way to get some bearings first.

If we assume vacuum pricing - i.e., points cost solely derived from model statistics by some sort of fixed algorithm - then a theoretical Relthozan Aegis will be a sub-optimal investment for a fleet. One-on-one, it will be balanced against a Terran Aegis but including it in an actual Relthozan fleet list will result in this fleet underperforming as a whole due to lacking synergies.

If we assume, let's call it, synergy pricing - i.e., points cost determined via some sort of algorithm considering statistics of the model itself as well as characteristics of other models of the fleet - then a theoretical Relthozan Aegis will be cheaper than its Terran equivalent. One-on-one, it will out-perform the Terran Aegis but including it in an actual Relthozan fleet list will result in a balanced game against a Terran fleet of the same fleet value.

In other words, either option has its issues.

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For those 5 points you get better....almost everything

This sentence leads me to believe that you haven't compared all aspects between the Swordbreaker and the Predator, so I thought I'd just chime in and say that as a Veydreth-player, I hate the Predator, and very much consider it a "200 point tax". Funny how two opinions can differ so much.

It's even gone so far that I've more or less stopped playing Veydreth as my core-fleet, so I don't have to field the Predator.

The Predator may have a slightly better weaponsystem than the Swordbreaker (mostly due to the second torpedo-weapon, otherwise theyr'e very similar) and it may have +2 PD and HP, but;

- It can't take accompaniments or escorts. This is a huge deal actually, especially in a fleet without wings. Escorts is a easy way for more PD, AP and (due to the Larshan) more AD. The Predator having more PD by default is a *must* because of this very reason. It doesn't have any SRS or Escorts that can protect it, it's all alone.

- The Swordbreaker can obtain AP 10 on it's own, 13 with escorts, the Predator is capped at AP 9.

- The Swordbreaker starts with a Shield and can buy a second one, compared to the Predators 0. (I'd take 8 HP and 2 shields over 10 HP and 0 shields any day. 1 less BL swing as well if it dies.)

- The Swordbreaker can get Weapon Shielding as a Upgrade. This ensures that it will be a threat untill it dies or FSD's. The Predator's direct weapons are pretty useless once it's suffered 5-6 HP's.

- If you spend a hardpoint on removing Vulnerable, the Predator is 20 pts more expensive than the Swordbreaker, that's a noticeable amount of points.

So with all that in mind, I'd take a Swordbreaker over a Predator in my Veydreth fleet any day, but I can't. This to be expected though; The grass is always greener and all that. The best thing about the Predator is MN7 with Double Mines, but remember that Veydreth already do mines pretty well with their Assault Cruisers, Heavy Cruisers and Corvettes, so they don't need the Predator as a minedropper as much as Sorylians do.


 

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11 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

I thought I'd just chime in and say that as a Veydreth-player, I hate the Predator, and very much consider it a "tax". 

It's even gone so far that I've more or less stopped playing Veydreth as my core-fleet, so I don't have to field the Predator.

The Predator may have a slightly better weaponsystem than the Swordbreaker (mostly due to the second torpedo-weapon, otherwise theyr'e very similar) and it may have +2 PD and HP, but;

- It can't take accompaniments or escorts. This is a huge deal actually, especially in a fleet without wings. Escorts is a easy way for more PD, AP and (due to the Larshan) more AD. The Predator having more PD by default is a *must* because of this very reason. It doesn't have any SRS or Escorts that can protect it, it's all alone.

- The Swordbreaker can obtain AP 10 on it's own, 13 with escorts, the Predator is capped at AP 9.

- The Swordbreaker starts with a Shield and can buy a second one, compared to the Predators 0. (I'd take 8 HP and 2 shields over 10 HP and 0 shields any day. 1 less BL swing as well if it dies.)

- The Swordbreaker can get Weapon Shielding as a Upgrade. This ensures that it will be a threat untill it dies or FSD's. The Predator's direct weapons are pretty useless once it's suffered 5-6 HP's.

- If you upgrade Vulnerable away, the Predator is 20 pts more expensive than the Swordbreaker, that's a noticeable amount of points.

With all that in mind, I'd take a Swordbreaker over a Predator in my Veydreth fleet any day, but I can't, but it's to be expected; The grass is always greener and all that. The best thing about the Predator is MN7 with Double Mines, but remember that Veydreth already do mines pretty well with their Assault Cruisers, Heavy Cruisers and Corvettes, so they don't need the Predator as a minedropper as much as Sorylians do.


 

I'd think twice if I were you.  Upping to AP10 is great against some fleets, but you also need to get it there first.  If you're playing Directorate forget about it.  Weapon Shielding is good against people who can't spam biohazard or have hacking weapons, but even then I don't know if I'd call it a 'threat' at any point in the game.

Taking the Vulnerable away is the same as putting weapon shielding on, except Vulnerable is an objective, and consistent upgrade to defenses, and weapon shielding is not.

As I said before, it's not that the Swordbreaker fails to fill a gap, it's that it fails to actually do anything at all.  Shunting it in gives it its best chance, but that's your admiral, so kiss 2-3 turns of TAC cards goodbye.  Even then, inside of it's shorter range bands it doesn't pack any more punch than other battleships.

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3 hours ago, eje005 said:

I'd think twice if I were you. How so?

Upping to AP10 is great against some fleets, but you also need to get it there first. True, but the Swordbreaker is much more likely to get there than the Predator though. Or are you denying that 8 HP with 2 shields and possibly escort/SRS protection is better than 10 HP with 0 shields and no SRS/escorts?

If you're playing Directorate forget about it.  Weapon Shielding is good against people who can't spam biohazard or have hacking weapons, We're comparing battleships in a vacuum no? Relthoza isn't the worst faction in the game just because Directorate has cyberwarfare and Tarakians have Grav-weaponry.

but even then I don't know if I'd call it a 'threat' at any point in the game. A Swordbreaker with 1 HP left (and weaponshielding) has a optimal broadside of 11 AD. A Predator with 1 HP left has a optimal broadside of ...5 AD. Weaponshielding is a safetynet vs most factions, one I would always buy to my Battleships. You don't always play against Biohazard/Cyberwarfare.

Taking the Vulnerable away is the same as putting weapon shielding on, except Vulnerable is an objective, and consistent upgrade to defenses, and weapon shielding is not. Paying to remove Vulnerable is paying to remove a bad MAR. Paying for Weaponshielding is paying to add good Mar. I wouldn't really compare them in the way you do.

As I said before, it's not that the Swordbreaker fails to fill a gap, it's that it fails to actually do anything at all. So pretty much as the Predator in the Veydreth fleet. At least the Swordbreaker has a bigger chance of surviving the battle.

My comments in red.

I also notice that you didn't comment on the lack of SRS and Escorts for the Predator, nor the fact that it's arguable less survivable, even with more HP and PD. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Swordbreaker is the best battleship in the game (that goes to the Anarchist hands down), it's probably not even in the top 5 - but it's not as bad as you made it sound afew posts earlier.

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On 29 June 2016 at 1:51 PM, eje005 said:

That looks like it's the same as far as cruiser broadsides are concerned, and that they have more as far as heavy cruiser broadsides are concerned.   I guess regular cruisers have mines and the cloaking field and stealth systems too.  All for the same points cost.  In the end, were we to factor in the Retractable Plating suggestions, they'd be fairly equal, with a slight favor to Relthoza once you start buying upgrades thanks to Corrosive.

Relthoza cruisers are max of 3 not 4 so they can't link 2 and 2 or have as large total linked dice pools as the sorylians regarding veydreth I'm really not a fan of the models I think the retractable plating on some ships is probably the best suggestion so far. And possibly have more access to weapon shielding for other tier 2s as its really good.

Reply in bold

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