Hey everyone! I played about 3 games today (I have the base set plus a TIE advanced expansion and 2 players).
One house rule that we quickly adopted and really likes was to have simultaneous movement. We felt like we were having a lot of issues around unintuitive issues the came up by having ships move in turns and having to choose their actions before actually seeing where the other ships ended up (This was how we interpreted the rules…. If we were wrong about this, please let me know!). Even aside from the choosing actions without seeing where people would end up, there were other issues around "crashing" that we struggled with as well.
Anyways, we started playing that all ships moved simultaneously from both factions and THEN we chose actions in order of lowest initiative to highest. We simply said that if there was a possible order to move them that would not result in a "crash", that would be the way we would move.
We liked this much better and I wanted to both share this idea with you all and check to see if our initial interpretation of the rules was correct (again, that each ship would move AND choose their action before the next ship actually moved).
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You interpretation of the rules is correct.
However, it should be noted that the ships moving and choosing their actions from low initiative to high is meant to represent the inexperience of lower initiative pilots. Green pilots simply aren't as good at choosing their actions based on the state of the battlefield (hence, having to choose their actions before everyone has finished moving). This is their built-in downside, meant to balance out their low point cost.
When you do your simultaneous movement house rule, you're removing a good portion of that downside, not to mention removing a very important strategic element from the game (i.e. collisions). Sure, they still fire last, but that's really only a downside on the turn they're destroyed.
Well, we still have our actions play out in the correct order, so it gives them the same disadvantage there. What we really wanted to avoid we're situations like the ship that moves first being able to make a target lock, but then after the second one moves it is out of firing range AND it can't create the target lock back. That seemed unintuitive. Also, it seemed like moving first could be abused when it came to crashing. If I knew a collision was coming I could get an action in before the "more experienced" person crashed into me and forfeited his turn. There were Lots of ways we found we could abuse crashing because of turn order…especially with barrel rolls and it just didn't seem fair or within the spirit of the game (at best, purposeful crashing should be a suicide attack).
Im sure there are those of you who feel that this would just be another element of strategy to take advantage of, but we found that it was more fun with simultaneous movement. Again, we still did our actions in order, only it happened after we moved.
My main issue with simultaneous movement is that it takes away the decision making of the players. Knowing that you're going to end up in a certain situation means you can always take the optimal action (barrel rolling the correct direction to get in or out of a shot range, taking focus instead instead of evade when you know no ship can hit you this turn, etc).
Ultimately, you bought the game and can play whatever way brings you the most enjoyment. Just remember that the point costs for pilots include this advantage for higher skilled pilots. Removing part of this advantage will lessen their actual worth.
Winter is coming
I agree with the other two. A low cost pilot is low cost, not because of moving first and firing last, but because they choose an action before seeing what the battlefield looks like and then they shoot last. The target lock example sounds frustrating, but it represents that an ace pilot can get out of a rookie's line of sight before the rookie can get a firing solution. That interpretation isn't 100% accurate, though, since in this game, the rookie will maintain the target lock from round to round, even if the target is out of range.
I agree with the rest about how your house rules, lessen the dissadvantage of lower skilled pilots. I would point out that trying to predict what other players are going to do is one of the fun aspects of the game for me. (yes I have played)
But my main point is that the game is brand new. I fully expect lots of suggestion for house rules in six months or so, but I think that we should play the game a bunch more before we are in a position to tweek with it. FFG did play test this game for like a year. I think we should give them at least half that long before we change the game up.
That being said there are no rule cops, you definately have the right to play the game however you want.
Having played about ten times so far, four times this week, I agree simultaneous movement breaks a lot of built-in mechanics. Playing Imps in my last game I had a T-Adv at PS4 and 4 T-Fgtrs at PS1 for 75 points (it was a 4-player 150-point/side game). I consistently had to guess whether I should focus or evade and about 50% of the time I was wrong, but that is the gamble new pilots make. They are shaky.
Second, a crash is not a crash. I interpret the rules as the "colliding" pilot loses his action because he is busy avoiding said collision. Yes, in reality ships could collide, but if you allowed players to kamikaze it would break the game. So I read it as they are in an "oh $&!^" moment and thus lose the turn's available action while they take the "action" of evasive manuvers to avoid striking the other ship.
Target lock does not require "line of sight" within your fire arc to acquire or maintain the lock. You only have to be in range of your target to acquire the lock. At that point you have locked on to that target untill you use the target lock or lock onto a new target. I just double checked that rule on pg9. That should help with some of your frustration.
OP, I learned the game incorrectly and we did both simultaneous dice rolling AND movement/action phases. After playing correctly, while I certainly see your points, I think the step by step approach is the way to go. When you're moving your little Academy Pilot around, it's kind of fun having to basically guess where people will ultimately end up and having to sort of guess what action you should take. You just make that little guy go crazy. Barrel roll everywhere!
As others have said, it's certainly your game, and you should play it in whatever way makes it the most fun for you. But give the step by step approach a few more tries. it really does give you a major benefit to using higher skill pilots.
I co-host, mix, and edit Cardboard of the Rings. I'm the one you probably think doesn't know any of the rules. But joke's on you; I just don't care about the rules!
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