There was another game of X-wing, and this time we tried to build squadrons with 200 points. On the other side, there was two A-wings armed with missiles, two B-wings and one Y-wing. Most were PS8, so we thought that we’d have the initiative (I wanted to take Hawk with Roarke to give some fire options but was walked over – second time actually now). Well, that was wrong – we didn’t. On the opposing side there was Inquisitor’s Tie, Decimator (with Palpatine, Isaard, Ruthlesness and whatnot), Tie Defender, Tie Bomber and Tie Interceptor.
Initially I took steps to make sure that the A-wings I controlled were doing their duty and planted some really good missile hits on the Decimator (4 and 3 hits, including some criticals). Of course, that was nothing really, considering the 17 health. I even managed to get two blinded pilot criticals in single turn later with A-wing regular shots. And those are about the worst the damage deck has. And what effect did that have? None, no effect – none whatsoever. Three ships were pouring fire on the thing – B-wing and two A-wings and could just not get it killed. Curiously, it was about twice the point cost shooting it constantly and continuously.
Now, for sake of consideration, Tantive, and in more or less same extend the Raider are vastly larger and better equipped ships than Decimator. How long does it take to kill one of those? One turn, if that. Critical damage decks are apparently reversed and the more severe one should be for the smaller craft and less severe to the big ones. Is there perhaps a scale problem here? Maybe? Anyone?
Then, when Decimator was finally killed, it was about turn 10 or so, pretty much after it killed everyone else first. B-wing and two A-wings. Y-wing died, well because of the Inquisitors Tie, as did the second B-wing. Defender did not do much else but kept on bumping into asteroids but failed to kill itself.
I’ve heard that forget the Decimator and engage everyone else first etc. Except you still won’t be winning unless you kill the bloody Decimator – and I’ve tried few times with ships that had already taken some hits. Nope, not gonna work. Come together at same time? Yep, Ruthless makes a lot of automatic damage with expected survival time of 10+ rounds. Leave alive and Palpatine is going to pull around 10 critical hits out of his cape.
Here comes the competitive argument. You should not play over 100 points because it is not the tournament size. Yes. I know that more points mean that Decimator, and ships like it can be equipped to the optimum, and there is still enough for very good support. This is not so easy if limit is 100pts. Here lies the other huge problem. Tournament play. It just sucks fun out of everything due to design choices. When designer is really lazy and unimaginative, he or she will opt for Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament setting.
Of course one can say that yes, you did not have this, or that, or whatever to counter Decimator and suchlike but that is beyond the point. X-Wing has now reached a point where it is factually Rock-Paper-Scissors. Nothing more. Apparent hereditary traits from MTG?
Rock-Paper-Scissors is not fun. It is not interesting, nor engaging. Rock-Paper-Siccors that takes, well better part of 6 hours is, well… imagine that. X-wing stopped being fast game long ago. Now it is 4 hours of pointless optimization for every 1/2 hour of playtime. Not particularly good ratio there. On that token, it is not even particularly fast to play anymore. Constant referrals to rules, glutter and ever expanding errata is nowadays the thing.
What comes to Decimator (and others like it), where is fun in that? Go on straight line and just kill everyone within range 3. What’s the point? Really? I think there is some way to use the ships I have (with, or without cards to print out) to create sort of hit-avoiding-stall-stress-&-ionize-squadron which will be blatantly dull to play, but would be equal to the Decimator boredom… Something that cannot be hurt much, and that takes eons to kill.
Any suggestions? 😀