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Author Topic: Formation abilities balance  (Read 672 times)

nckestrel

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Formation abilities balance
« on: 19 July 2021, 10:46:30 »
In another thread the idea that formation abilities are unbalanced was brought up, and I wanted to see more opinions from people on this.  Specifically, which formations are overused/underused?  Why do you think it's over/under (too limited in use, too powerful, boring, complicated,  too difficult to meet requirements, etc). Are there any that you think are exactly where they need to be?

There are no plans to change any of these, but often it's good to have the groundwork already running before it's needed.
And please be respectful of other people's opinions.  I want your opinion, not you telling somebody else their opinion is wrong. This is not an invitation to debate and "win".
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Crackerb0x

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #1 on: 19 July 2021, 12:03:11 »
In my opinion, I find the Striker formation to be weak. 2" is with no additional TMM is hardly worth thinking about to me. For units that are already very mobile, I would rather make them a Battle formation or Support formation for any mission, especially if that Support formation. Because this, it's extremely under used compared to any other formation.

Captain Punka

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #2 on: 19 July 2021, 12:30:29 »
I love formations!  I love several aspects of the existence of formations.  For example, the existence of formations is in my experience one of the driving reasons one might take a less optimal mech (e.g.  maybe a mech that has less damage) in order to have the necessary role to meet requirements.  I also love that these formations can grant special abilities that are a fun, tactical addition to the game.

I would quickly buy a supplement that had additional formations to build from. With the rich amount of special pilot abilities, special ammunition and factions already flushed out, I could see so many formations that could bring uniqueness to one's lance.

In answer to your question, here's my thoughts:

Good formations:  Battle lance, Fire Lance, Pursuit Lance, Command Lance, Support Lance, Nova/Mechanized Lance
Underpowered formations: Assault Lance, Striker/Cavalry Lance, Recon Lance, Air Lance

Scotty

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #3 on: 19 July 2021, 14:59:45 »
In my opinion, I find the Striker formation to be weak. 2" is with no additional TMM is hardly worth thinking about to me. For units that are already very mobile, I would rather make them a Battle formation or Support formation for any mission, especially if that Support formation. Because this, it's extremely under used compared to any other formation.

I will directly rebut this by saying the Striker lance is up there in contention for the best lance in the game.  A 2" boost, properly used, is the difference between short range and out of arc, the difference between out of LOS and dead to rights, and the difference between damage 5 and damage 6 on the charge for suitably fast mechs.  Useful in every phase of the game.
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nckestrel

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #4 on: 19 July 2021, 15:03:50 »
I will directly rebut this by saying the Striker lance is up there in contention for the best lance in the game.  A 2" boost, properly used, is the difference between short range and out of arc, the difference between out of LOS and dead to rights, and the difference between damage 5 and damage 6 on the charge for suitably fast mechs.  Useful in every phase of the game.

I want your opinion, not you telling somebody else their opinion is wrong. This is not an invitation to debate and "win".

No rebuttals or comments on other people's posts or I will figure out how to start deleting posts. 
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Scotty

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #5 on: 19 July 2021, 21:56:43 »
Apologies, missed that while I was skimming.

Very good:
Striker, for reasons previously mentioned
Fire, because Sniper is one of the best SPAs in the game bar none
Command, almost entirely because of Combat Intuition

Not great:
Direct Fire, because weapon specialist is worse than Sniper at every range except short, which is in a small minority of shots taken during a game
Support, because the only reason you'd ever take it is if you can't build something else better to get the full effect

The others are all largely fine.  Recon is very good when it's good but pretty not good when it's not.  Very situational which can at least be worked around in list building but I'm not a huge fan of doing.
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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2021, 00:34:16 »
I've never been a fan of the Assault formation. Those SPAs are useful, but overall it just seems far too situational, and aside from some very specific circumstances, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to run the group as a Battle or Fire lance instead.
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Rougarou Rhapsody

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #7 on: 20 July 2021, 08:03:58 »
I think the way lucky is presented for battle lances/stars is currently overly powerful.  I think number of units in formation +2 number of uses is not balanced out enough by losing the lucky ability when the formation falls below 3 units. I think it would be better as "number of units in formation" or "number of units in formation -1". 

My primarily issue with PSAs is that it is not clear how many of them work with the variant damage rules (either multiple damage rolls or multiple attack rolls).  It makes them questionable to use in conjunction with other optional rules.  For example, how does the assault lance/star Mutli-Tasker PSA work if you are using the multiple attack rolls optional rule?

nckestrel

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #8 on: 20 July 2021, 09:02:27 »
Multi-tasked is specifically addressed on p175 ASCE under Multiple Attack Rolls.
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Rougarou Rhapsody

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #9 on: 20 July 2021, 11:49:30 »
Multi-tasked is specifically addressed on p175 ASCE under Multiple Attack Rolls.

wow, glazed right over it and only saw the "natural 12" section right under it :-[

Sartris

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #10 on: 20 July 2021, 12:24:52 »
Assault - feels lackluster but I haven't played enough with it to have a confident opinion

Fast Assault - Love using Stand Aside on already moved units and posting up directly in their rear arc.

Battle - did the wording change on this one? It feels like they're more lucky than before. Pretty good for what's kind of a catch-all formation that can take almost any shape.

Command - super-potent, especially for the aforementioned tactical genius. The other bonuses are a great toolbox to help deal with changing circumstances

Fire - Sniper is awesome. the end.

Fire Support - Like it if there is enough terrain on the board where the lance can block its own LoS to take advantage of oblique attacker but still maintain medium range

Direct Fire - Weapon specialist is pretty meh in AS. Love this one in TW scale.

Pursuit Lance - Good for head-hunting. The tricky part is eliminating the entire formation once a unit's particular prey has been taken out. I believe that's called balance?

Recon - Feels right for its role. The options for SPAs are appropriate. The nature of the formation might leave it undergunned in the first place.

Striker - Wish there was another option here - Speed Demon OR  eg Jumping Jack

Support - the CO gave you a bad mix of units that don't synergize in any way.

nckestrel

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #11 on: 20 July 2021, 12:57:12 »
Battle - did the wording change on this one? It feels like they're more lucky than before. Pretty good for what's kind of a catch-all formation that can take almost any shape.

Several were changed so they scale with number of units in the formation.  Battle Lance was a straight Lucky 6.  (Lance of 4 + 2).  But now if you have a Battle Star, that would be 7.  But the number you got for a lance stayed the same.  Assault Lance becamse half the number of units instead of a flat 2, etc.
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CJKeys

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #12 on: 20 July 2021, 21:45:31 »
Of all the lances, I do feel that striker/cavalry would be much better if given the choice between jumping jack or speed demon.

Direct fire lances, which provides weapon specialist feels underpowered
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Valkerie

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #13 on: 20 July 2021, 23:19:12 »
Of all the lances, I do feel that striker/cavalry would be much better if given the choice between jumping jack or speed demon.
Going to have to second this.  Of all the formations, I feel this one needs the most help.  Jumping jack would go a long way to that.

After that, I would have to agree with Sartris that the Direct Fire lance is pretty "meh".
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Holland

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #14 on: 21 July 2021, 17:31:10 »
The assessment in our play group was that there are 4 formations that are in the top tier, Battle, Cavalry, Fire, and Command

Battle - Reliable, potentially useful every turn.  This feels appropriate as the "stock" or "default" formation.

Cavalry - Strong, but requires a carefully built formation and strong gameplay to maximize.

Fire - Very problematic when one side has this formation and the other does not, as the side without quickly gets pushed out of the long range "battle space".  Utility of this formation is significantly impacted by terrain.

Command - The Combat Intuition SPA is the most concerning here, combined with Tactical Genius it can be extremely fun for the user and very game ruining for the opponent (that your unit normally always gets to fire back, no matter how badly it goes, is a is great design and taking that away diminished player fun).  A Clan Star can pack in 3 Combat Intuitions, perhaps limiting that SPA to 1 per formation or replacing it entirely with another choice would make this more balanced.

« Last Edit: 21 July 2021, 17:33:42 by Holland »

Scotty

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Re: Formation abilities balance
« Reply #15 on: 21 July 2021, 21:07:22 »
I would describe Striker/Cavalry lances as having both a high skill floor (requires good skill to use effectively) and a high skill ceiling (exceptionally powerful when used well).
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