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The_Evergrey_One

New Japanese unit

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20 hours ago, Dasaan said:

I think most TAGs and bikes are rubbish, but you are welcome to envy them.

Who wants a TAG when you have a Su-Jian?

People who play ITS missions that require a TAG to get max points...

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5 minutes ago, Triggerpuller9000 said:

People who play ITS missions that require a TAG to get max points...

You shouldn't hear me defend those missions.  I like the Fatality L1 boost and 10-man grip boost, both good for TAGs, but specially privileging a certain type of unit is dumb. The same reason some of the classifieds are dumb.

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25 minutes ago, Dasaan said:

You shouldn't hear me defend those missions.  I like the Fatality L1 boost and 10-man grip boost, both good for TAGs, but specially privileging a certain type of unit is dumb. The same reason some of the classifieds are dumb.

If privileging a certain type of unit is dumb, wouldn't disadvantaging one be dumb too? TAGs are the only unit that can be possessed, for example, and EM2 has stronger effects on some unit types than others. The entire game is designed around asymmetrical advantages for different units. 

Which classifieds are dumb?

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Privileging a specific type of unit for objective points, which not all factions have access to, yes, is dumb. I am not aware of a disadvantage in the opposite direction, like some penalty for Light Infantry point value on Quadrant Control.

Classifieds are dumb because they obviously exist to force diversity on lists, but the result is that they force the same kind of list over and over so that the player can cover all bases with a random draw. If classifieds were smart, the way that they would work is that you keep drawing until you draw classifieds that your list can legally complete.

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2 minutes ago, Dasaan said:

Privileging a specific type of unit for objective points, which not all factions have access to, yes, is dumb. I am not aware of a disadvantage in the opposite direction, like some penalty for Light Infantry point value on Quadrant Control.

Classifieds are dumb because they obviously exist to force diversity on lists, but the result is that they force the same kind of list over and over so that the player can cover all bases with a random draw. If classifieds were smart, the way that they would work is that you keep drawing until you draw classifieds that your list can legally complete.

You mean like being able to choose Secure HVT or intelcom? Classifieds already give you a backup or alternative if you draw one you can't complete. 

Missions with multiple classifieds can get in the sea though, and Highly Classified needs a long walk along a short pier! 

 

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9 minutes ago, Dasaan said:

Privileging a specific type of unit for objective points, which not all factions have access to, yes, is dumb. I am not aware of a disadvantage in the opposite direction, like some penalty for Light Infantry point value on Quadrant Control.

Classifieds are dumb because they obviously exist to force diversity on lists, but the result is that they force the same kind of list over and over so that the player can cover all bases with a random draw. If classifieds were smart, the way that they would work is that you keep drawing until you draw classifieds that your list can legally complete.

Classifieds are all about the trade off though -- taking a TAG for a TAG-specific scoring point leaves me less room for specialists to do every classified (have you ever tried this in an Limited Insertion situation? You are really constrained if you want to take the right set of specialists, it's pretty interesting to me) so I'm building my list with the idea that I *must* secure the TAG specific mission and at least get secure HVT if I want to get the same points. I'm trading the randomness of the classified for an additional objective that I can build a list more specifically to accomplish. That's good design, because it forces the player to make a difficult choice and weigh their options. For factions without TAGs, they're going to make the same trade-off except between additional specialists or things to help them score, and additional things to help them deal with a TAG

 

7 minutes ago, Col said:

You mean like being able to choose Secure HVT or intelcom? Classifieds already give you a backup or alternative if you draw one you can't complete. 

Missions with multiple classifieds can get in the sea though, and Highly Classified needs a long walk along a short pier! 

Agreed with the first half. You are already making a choice before you even start the game -- do you take a list that can do more classifieds and have a better chance at a major victory, or do you take a list that can run over the opponent and prevent them from doing the same? It's one of the things I think Infinity does better than almost any other miniatures wargame. 

I like Highly Classified though because you have to read your opponent's objectives based on how they structure their turn, and if you're smart you can outplay a really bad alpha strike. 

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8 minutes ago, meikyoushisui said:

I like Highly Classified though because you have to read your opponent's objectives based on how they structure their turn, and if you're smart you can outplay a really bad alpha strike. 

I don't understand how you need to "read your opponent's objectives", both players play the same 4 main classifieds and they're open information. 

My issue with it is that I'm forced to being a hacker, engineer, something with STR, FO, and Dr/medic, in every list which straightjackets list building for a lot of factions. 

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Just now, Col said:

I don't understand how you need to "read your opponent's objectives", both players play the same 4 main classifieds and they're open information. 

My issue with it is that I'm forced to being a hacker, engineer, something with STR, FO, and Dr/medic, in every list which straightjackets list building for a lot of factions. 

Derp, I'm thinking of a variant I played. 

I don't think it's a huge problem -- almost every faction has a few cheap specialists of each type, and even if you're lacking something you can still easily get a major victory just by getting one of them and preventing your opponent from getting any. 

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2 hours ago, Dasaan said:

You shouldn't hear me defend those missions.  I like the Fatality L1 boost and 10-man grip boost, both good for TAGs, but specially privileging a certain type of unit is dumb. The same reason some of the classifieds are dumb.

Fair, and agreed. 

To add to why some Classifieds are problematic - from a game design standpoint, the requirement that your own units take damage to satisfy an objective is simply poor game design. This is a problem with ITS in general (for example, the Retreat mechanic can easily screw you out of max points). 

 

Not to get off on a tangent complaining about ITS, but I find the factions are much more balanced, and the game is much more fun, using alternative mission formats. 

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2 hours ago, Triggerpuller9000 said:

Not to get off on a tangent complaining about ITS, but I find the factions are much more balanced, and the game is much more fun, using alternative mission formats. 

I don't know if this would stand up to more rigorous analysis. The game and factions are clearly designed and balanced with ITS in mind. TAG lists consistently underperform in ITS (and most other mission systems) so buffing them and the types of lists they tend to be in for the season seems like a reasonable response to me. 

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What specific "alternative mission formats" are you referring to here?

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It's a tangent, but an interesting tangent;

What if classifieds were chosen after deployment? Opponent seems to be based way too much on Shock and Viral - better choose something that doesn't require doctoring your own troops. Opponent has placed the HVT in a really awkward spot - maybe Extreme Prejudice is better.
Alternatively; what if classified deck was populated based on what your list can complete? No Doctor - no Experimental Drug. No elite troops - no abduction*. No troops that qualify for any classified card - automatically forfeit classified objective.

* weirdly, getting troops that play nice with this classified is a problem for Yu Jing... you'd think that this was Yu Jing's forté.

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Just realized JSA's elites consist of oniwaban and shikami. 

Both excelllent choices for actually abducting a HVT but wow that's inconvenient.

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I'm not sure why, but when I started playing I thought you were allowed to show an uncompletable objective and redraw it once.  Kind of wish this was the real rule.

 

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17 hours ago, meikyoushisui said:

I don't know if this would stand up to more rigorous analysis. The game and factions are clearly designed and balanced with ITS in mind. TAG lists consistently underperform in ITS (and most other mission systems) so buffing them and the types of lists they tend to be in for the season seems like a reasonable response to me. 

If this were true, then there wouldn't be missions where (1) some factions literally cannot get full points on the mission (TAG missions), (2) a game format that is nearly impossible for some factions to play outside of a couple very niche builds, whereas other factions can play it very comfortably (Limited Insertion, which I actually enjoy a lot), (3) missions that require anti-material weapons (Looting & Sabotaging; yes I know you can grab D-Charges from the boxes in Looting & Sabotaging, but any faction can do that. The distribution of these weapons is nowhere near balanced). 

As for alternative formats, we play 20x20, YAMS, Recon+ and homebrew missions. We play a lot of ITS too, but it's not the only way to enjoy Infinity, and I'd argue it's not the most balanced across factions for the reasons stated above. 

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5 hours ago, Triggerpuller9000 said:

If this were true, then there wouldn't be missions where (1) some factions literally cannot get full points on the mission (TAG missions), (2) a game format that is nearly impossible for some factions to play outside of a couple very niche builds, whereas other factions can play it very comfortably (Limited Insertion, which I actually enjoy a lot), (3) missions that require anti-material weapons (Looting & Sabotaging; yes I know you can grab D-Charges from the boxes in Looting & Sabotaging, but any faction can do that. The distribution of these weapons is nowhere near balanced). 

As for alternative formats, we play 20x20, YAMS, Recon+ and homebrew missions. We play a lot of ITS too, but it's not the only way to enjoy Infinity, and I'd argue it's not the most balanced across factions for the reasons stated above. 

1) Why not? As I explained, it just creates two sets of equal choices. If you have a TAG, do you bring a TAG or do you bring things to do other objectives better, since it's largely agreed that TAGs are usually just large targets? If you don't have a TAG, do you fill the additional room with ways to deal with a TAG (assault hackers, CC specialists, E/M weapons) or do you instead ignore the TAG and just find more ways to score? 

2) Which factions would you say do well in Limited Insertion, and which ones do poorly, and do you have data to back this up? 

3) A quick look through kind of disproves this -- basically every sectorial has at least one good Missile Launcher, Feuerbach, or MULTI Sniper. The distribution looks pretty even except maybe in CC weapons (and those factions have weaknesses in other places.)

Most importantly though is that asymmetrical balance is still balance. Recon penalizes Tohaa triads and Enomotarchos a lot, it basically removes some of their major faction specific advantages in order efficiency completely. A Steel Phalanx list with no access to Enomotarchos specific advantages is going to have a total of like 4 orders. It also penalizes factions with more high-cost named units -- again, this gimps Steel Phalanx really hard. Oh also limitations on 2 wound models, again, a penalty for Steel Phalanx. And how does 20x20 not have the same problems with things like D-Charge distribution that you claim (doubly so if you're rolling for missions instead of picking them in advance.) How is that any different when Dasaan claimed above that "Classifieds are dumb because they obviously exist to force diversity on lists, but the result is that they force the same kind of list over and over so that the player can cover all bases with a random draw"? YAMS has exactly the same problem with randomness -- ITS has the advantage of knowing how you can accomplish at least 8-9 of the available objective points in advance. 

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8 hours ago, Triggerpuller9000 said:

(3) missions that require anti-material weapons (Looting & Sabotaging; yes I know you can grab D-Charges from the boxes in Looting & Sabotaging, but any faction can do that. The distribution of these weapons is nowhere near balanced). 

This is true!!!

 

Mask

 

 

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On the topic of Classifieds, or missions that involve TAGs... 

I think it's in the hands of TOs, or an individual player and their opponent, to suit missions that are appropriate for the setting and the role.

If a TO wants to encourage a broader range of units, then something like Highly Classified can be a nice way to do that.  I personally don't like Highly Classified, it's one of my least favorite ITS missions... But I can choose to exclude that from a tournament, or suggest to other TOs that they not run that mission, then state my reasons.

Same with TAGs.  If a meta never uses TAGs, or if a meta loves running TAGs, then something like Deadly Dance can be fun.  But it's worth mentioning that you don't need a TAG for success in that mission, and once again it's up to the TO to determine if it's fun and fair to bring that mission to his group.

For Classified Objectives:

I play a lot of ITS, and I don't really feel like I have to go out of my way for Classified Objectives.  Not all missions have them in the current season, and many missions only have 1 Classified.  There's a good chance a typical list can Coup de Grace... Includes a Hacker... Includes a Forward Observer... Includes d-Charges... And includes either a Doctor or an Engineer quite naturally. 

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6 hours ago, meikyoushisui said:

1) And how does 20x20 not have the same problems with things like D-Charge distribution that you claim (doubly so if you're rolling for missions instead of picking them in advance.)

rolling for 20x20 missions randomly is just an option. The system is not necessarily meant to play that way. i usually decide with my opponent which primary mission to play and only roll for the secondary one. 

Distribution of weapons like D-Charges is less of a problem in 20x20 because you can destroy the beacon with all weapons in the primary mission. In the secondary mission Demolition one trooper gets a d-charge for free. I went through all armies before coming to that decision. And that still is not good enough for me, the next version of 20x20 will lower the necessity to have d-charges even more, while still rewarding the use of d-charges. I think 20x20 is better than ITS when it comes to be fair about skills and equipment. 

This problem is prevalent in ITS. Many weapons and skills are necessary, while some armies don't have them or only in small numbers. You have to go out of your way to include them. Even then they may not be necessary because you just don't draw the required classified card. This and the random effect is something that really bothers me about ITS. I like the new version, but I don't feel it is fair to expect armies to have skills and equipment that is rare for them and does not help much apart from maybe enabling them to score more points. CHA is a good example. No tags, and no use for a hacking device. Even the d-charges are not as affluent as in the rest of Ariadna. Sure, you can still play and win, but it is more of an effort. You are also deprived of being able to score maximum points in the missions that require TAGs. 

On the other hand, I see it as a strength of Infinity as a wargame that each mission requires certain troopers. This way the lists vary more. The problem is just that for some ITS missions it feels a bit too tight when I build my list. Don't get me started with tournament requirements. 

19 hours ago, Mahtamori said:

It's a tangent, but an interesting tangent;

What if classifieds were chosen after deployment? Opponent seems to be based way too much on Shock and Viral - better choose something that doesn't require doctoring your own troops. Opponent has placed the HVT in a really awkward spot - maybe Extreme Prejudice is better.
Alternatively; what if classified deck was populated based on what your list can complete? No Doctor - no Experimental Drug. No elite troops - no abduction*. No troops that qualify for any classified card - automatically forfeit classified objective.

* weirdly, getting troops that play nice with this classified is a problem for Yu Jing... you'd think that this was Yu Jing's forté.

interesting ideas. Should be tested. This would be much less frustrating to play, but could be exploited to just use the best. I guess CB had the opposite in mind when they designed those darned cards. My best idea so far was to not use the classiified cards at all. 

(Ironically, I have won every time i was forced to play Highly Classified. B) )

 

2 hours ago, Barakiel said:

 

For Classified Objectives:

I play a lot of ITS, and I don't really feel like I have to go out of my way for Classified Objectives.  Not all missions have them in the current season, and many missions only have 1 Classified.  There's a good chance a typical list can Coup de Grace... Includes a Hacker... Includes a Forward Observer... Includes d-Charges... And includes either a Doctor or an Engineer quite naturally. 

that really depends on what faction you play. In many factions such elements do not get into the lists in a natural way at all. Try CHA, as an extreme. 

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1 hour ago, prophetofDoom said:

That really depends on what faction you play. In many factions such elements do not get into the lists in a natural way at all. Try CHA, as an extreme. 

CHA is perhaps the game's most extreme example, because Ariadna Sectorials operate with low total unit count and Ariadna in particular has fewer Hackers, STR units, etc. It's an outlier, rather than being a standard representation. 

That's offset by a bottomless pool of cheap Regular Orders that give the Sectorial more flexibility for objective completion. Also... As mentioned... It isn't necessary to have complete classified objective coverage. Most missions allow you to cover a handful that are easy and simply secure HVT in most situations. 

The presence of Classifieds within the system doesn't hurt or hinder any particular force over another. As someone who plays Sectorials almost exclusively, I've never felt at any particular disadvantage that wasn't compensated for through other gained advantages. 

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On 18.11.2017 at 5:40 AM, Barakiel said:

The presence of Classifieds within the system doesn't hurt or hinder any particular force over another. As someone who plays Sectorials almost exclusively, I've never felt at any particular disadvantage that wasn't compensated for through other gained advantages. 

Some missions and Classifieds do indeed screw Sectorials quite royally. Looting and Sabotaging is an uphill battle with your SAA or NCA. There are a couple more situational things like Biotechvore with Vanilla armies, Highly Classified with 2+ Hacking Missions for Ariadna/Tohaa/MO etc. Highly Classified with lots of Doctor/Engineer reliance for Onyx/ISS (losing Doc Wurm/Sophotect will make the game very hard). In Hunting Party MO, Tohaa and Aleph get free ADHLs for half their troops, which seems a tad bit unfair while some others hardly get anything. Tic-Tac-Toe with it's bonus for Evo Hackers is a minor annoyance for those who don't have them.

The gravest offender seems to be Transmission Matrix. Depending on your Faction and what you're facing dominant Hackers get buffed quite a bit or in case the other guy simply runs a completely unhackable list (pretty easy for Ariadna and Tohaa) pretty much downgraded to glorified Specialist Operatives.

Don't get me wrong all of these things aren't a big deal individually and can be compensated for to some degree. However they are noticable and can add up to a significant amount across 5 games. It'll easily lead to a couple more Objecive or Tournament Points across 5 tournament games. As a result you'll be naturally set up to have a slightly higher score depending on your faction imho.

At the end the most common denominator is still killing stuff and Orders/efficiency to accomplish things in general. Obviously enough every bit helps, so the best performance tends to come when you're able to build a list that is naturally able to perform in any mission (within a given set) while reaping the advantages those missions provide without downsides.

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On 16/11/2017 at 6:30 PM, Mahtamori said:

There's absolutely situations where you want an actual TAG once you stop being a typical reductive (and unproductive) gamer. Claiming the Su-Jian is "a TAG but better" (read that in Jim Stirling's most annoying voice) is sort of like claiming a Prowler is a "HI but better" - blatantly lying and forfeiting the important conversation where "if the players consistently prefers the Su-Jian or Yan Huo over a Guijia/O-Yoroi - are these (faction*) TAGs really where they should be in terms of cost or ability?". Hell, doing a bit of cross-sectorial comparison and matching the Su-Jian against the Pan-O non-Seraphs (I've got strong opinions about what players think about the Seraph, too), does the Su-Jian** match up against Uhlans** or Cutters**?

Could you make it a bit more understandable ? (please)

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3 minutes ago, Eciu said:

Could you make it a bit more understandable ? (please)

It's a response to the arguments that Su-Jian are better than TAGs or that a faction with Su-Jian don't need a TAG.

All the stats are different. All the missions they can complete are different. All the paths they can take safely or in danger are different. The speed at which they move across the table are different. The only thing remotely similar is price, and that's still a huge mismatch. In short, they aren't playing even remotely the same role, so equating a Su-Jian to a TAG is plain and simple; stupid and reductive.

There's absolutely situations where a TAG would be desirable, just like there's absolutely a conversation to be had whether TAGs in general or specific TAGs offer a valuable contribution to a list. But that conversation is not "Su-Jian > TAG". You select a Su-Jian over a Guijia for the similar reasons why you select a Daofei over a Hac Tao, because the Daofei is different and offers you the tools you need, not because the Daofei "is a Hac Tao but better"*.

* Which is funny because Daofei and Hac Tao are more directly comparable than Su-Jian and any other TAG is.

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17 hours ago, Teslarod said:

Some missions and Classifieds do indeed screw Sectorials quite royally. Looting and Sabotaging is an uphill battle with your SAA or NCA. There are a couple more situational things like Biotechvore with Vanilla armies, Highly Classified with 2+ Hacking Missions for Ariadna/Tohaa/MO etc. Highly Classified with lots of Doctor/Engineer reliance for Onyx/ISS (losing Doc Wurm/Sophotect will make the game very hard). In Hunting Party MO, Tohaa and Aleph get free ADHLs for half their troops, which seems a tad bit unfair while some others hardly get anything. Tic-Tac-Toe with it's bonus for Evo Hackers is a minor annoyance for those who don't have them.

The gravest offender seems to be Transmission Matrix. Depending on your Faction and what you're facing dominant Hackers get buffed quite a bit or in case the other guy simply runs a completely unhackable list (pretty easy for Ariadna and Tohaa) pretty much downgraded to glorified Specialist Operatives.

Don't get me wrong all of these things aren't a big deal individually and can be compensated for to some degree. However they are noticable and can add up to a significant amount across 5 games. It'll easily lead to a couple more Objecive or Tournament Points across 5 tournament games. As a result you'll be naturally set up to have a slightly higher score depending on your faction imho.

At the end the most common denominator is still killing stuff and Orders/efficiency to accomplish things in general. Obviously enough every bit helps, so the best performance tends to come when you're able to build a list that is naturally able to perform in any mission (within a given set) while reaping the advantages those missions provide without downsides.

A Sectorial may be weak in some classifieds, but strong in others.  Logically, across a 3 mission ITS or 5 mission spread, this results in things balancing out fairly.  My NCA might get Sabotage... But hey, I can choose the other card I drew... Or Secure HVT.  In the next round I may draw something easier for NCA, like any of the Hacking missions.

So I don't agree that these things become noticeable over multiple games, because you not only have redundant ways of ensuring you get a Classified you can complete, but the same restrictions or difficulties also apply to your opponent.  Even if you come across someone who runs a Vanilla faction, and has taken choices to ensure 100% classified coverage, this may very well work to his disadvantage.  There are many missions where having a Hacker, Doctor, Engineer, and Forward Observer all detract from the overall mission viability of the list (especially in the case of bringing both Doctor and Hacker, often quite expensive with palbots purchased as well.)  That player may score 100% completion for Classifieds, but lose out on completing the primary mission.

When i said the following I never felt hindered as a Sectorial player, I didn't mean that all Sectorials can cover classifieds easily.  I simply meant that having complete Classified coverage isn't necessary.  All you have to do is focus on the areas where you're strongest, counting on the fact that you draw two cards, have Secure HVT, etc. as insurance.

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