|Screaming into a void about how I want a thing? This seemed appropriate|
|Lazy jokes, even by JOHN'S standards|
What this ALSO does, and what I'd like to see, is a restructuring of some points and abilities. I love Han Solo. I went as him for 2 Halloweens and to at least 2 movie premieres and a store championship. Spoiler: your author is a nerd.
|I mean, might even want to go so far as to say AuthorS....|
The other thing I liked about Eric's upgrade system is that we can re-spec some abilities. Right now, Ten Numb can cause MASSIVE amounts of heartache if he gets 3 crits off with Adar and Yavaris. But what if Ten Numb was a B-wing upgrade card that read something like "You may attack with one B-wing squadron rolling [Black][Black][Black] instead of its normal Anti-Squadron armament"? I'm making up examples, but this is a much easier way of keeping these aces in the game without having to deal with bubble effects and some of these BENT if not BROKEN abilities (Ten, Luke, Morna Kee, etc etc). You can do similar things with upgrade cards that are not seen (Advanced Projectors) or incredibly overseen ones (Toryn Farr. Hate to say it girl, but you're too good with squads), or you can adjust points in an app or something.
I'm not sure I'm fully onboard with ALL of Truthiness's changes (for the record, I like killing Bail, Strat Ad, and Pryce). So long as I have a REASON to take Nebs (and Imps to take Glads), though, I don't mind giving up Yavaris and Demo. Relatedly, you could adjust hull/defense tokens/shield amounts/dice changes with that 2.0/1.5 planning. I like Salvation, but those dice are so swingy that it's hard to count them at ALL.
Speaking of adjustments and changes, how bout those Commanders? Right NOW, competitively, you see 4 Rebel Commanders (and if you're in Atlanta this weekend, one idiot running Leia): Ackbar, Rieekan, Dodonna, and Raddus. You'll see occasional people trying stuff to make things work, and I'd like to think I'm at least Top Five of the Leia players in the World.
|I'd like to thank Truthiness and Ninja for challenging me, Matt and Eric for helping with listbuilding, and Google Image search for finding me this when I searched for "trophy."|
Let's not even talk about the death of Imperial MSU. I have to be somewhere in the morning so I don't have the HOURS I need to talk about it, but I'll point you at this old article of Eric's. Suffice it to say that I'd like MSU to be more real, but right now it continues to struggle. Hopefully, maybe, SSD, question mark? But right now, every Imperial fleet starts down 130 points with a naked ISD-I plus Ozzel. If you want to upgrade both or either of those (and you should!), enjoy paying MORE than the THIRD of your list you just STARTED with. Yeah yeah yeah, Sloane Quasars with Demo, sure.
I don't believe Eric and I are advocating for a full-on Armada grimdark reboot, where Luke "Punchy" Skywalker flies the Millenium Stabbening towards the Super Death Face Star Destroyer, graffiti etched with the word "HATE" across its bow. I want XI7s and TRCs and Toryn Farr and Admiral Ackbar and Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and Hera and and AND. There's a lot I still love about this game; heck, I still like squadron combat! But I can understand people's complaints and issues with the system. I like the interactions of the ships, the upgrades, and the squadrons, but the system can be improved. It can always be improved. So let's talk about that new FFG OP system!
|Click HERE to read about the changes!|
FFG OP Plans?
So the article talks about new OP kits, which is pretty cool! And they've got a new system in place for naming things and what that all means for fancy levels of play, sure! And heck, they've promised to be more open about things to us. I appreciate that all.
In fact, I really appreciate that Alex said "Fantasy Flight Games Organized Play was created as a way to build and grow gaming communities—to help players around the world meet other players, make new friends, and have fun playing the games you love. Years later, this continues to be our primary objective."
|So weird that I have this pin stuck in here, it's like I might be coming back to this in a minute.|
BUT HERE'S WHAT I DON'T LIKE
Armada Worlds in 2020 is going to be an Invite-Only event.
The only ways in, with that invite, that are mentioned in the article are:
Win a Regionals
Top 4 at Nationals (NOVA, last I checked)
Top 8 at GenCon (Eric and I made that this year, BUT)
So I would have been fine. Even playing Leia, I would have made it. But I put in HOURS of effort to drag Leia up there (which I liked, mind you), and while it was worth it, it was fun for ME. End of the day, all that had happened was my placement was affected and I got/didn't get prizes for placement.
Under this new system, MY placing Top 8 pushes out someone else who wanted to go to Worlds. What if this was someone's ONE shot into Worlds, and because i decided to roll up with Leia and he just didn't place as highly as I did (potentially without even playing ME!) he or she didn't get to go?
|Wouldn't be the first time I caused someone apoplectic rage for playing Leia (waves at Truthiness)|
TOing and Numbers
Let's talk about TOing an event, in an example Eric brought up to me earlier. He's potentially TOing our Chicago Regionals in a few weeks, which I and the rest of our community appreciate (it MAY be someone else, but that's a story for 2-3 weeks from now). But under this new system? WHY would he want to do that? He PERSONALLY gains no benefit from it other than slightly growing the Armada Community while removing from consideration one of the potential Regionals he CAN go to. And lemme tell you, the Midwest isn't as chock full of Armada bros as you'd think. There's roughly... oh, one Regional per state, and those states are far away. Heck, Milwaukee didn't even HAVE one this year.
Then you have places like Canada or California, with their 2-3 Regionals per state/country, respectively. So, only 2 Californians would get to go to Worlds potentially, out of the 20-30 who played in each of those Regionals. They get to go to Worlds just like the guy who won the Hawaii regional because he was able to outplay his other (checks notes) three opponents. Based on the current system and what I read from the article, this doesn't seem ideally designed or fair to me.
|Hope you love Rieekan Aces, because it's what you'll be seeing!|
Another concern with this, as I mentioned above, is that several Rebel commanders aren't "GOOD." I've had a lot of fun with Leia, and I'll still run her, but the question often pops up (heck, I wrote an article about it!) "WHY AREN'T YOU RUNNING RIEEKAN?"
After this announcement, I'm asking myself that same question. If attendance at Worlds (we'll get to why that's important in two sections, hold on a bit) is so important to me, why would I do anything but run a tweak on what's already still probably a broken bananas list? Why would I do anything when playing Rebel squadrons besides play the best way of winning Rebel squadrons? Because to me, FFG's announcement seems to say "Winning is all that matters if you want to get there."
I have FUN, actual enjoyment running Leia. I've gotten good enough that our friend Jack has said "You've made me actually afraid of Leia" and I give myself decent fighting odds against a lot of fleets I run into (I'm an egotistical doofus, but I still DO). But "Fighting Odds" don't get you to Minnesota (or even worse, Chicago/Adepticon. Super cool that potentially the convention in my backyard is... going to not let me in. Great). Victories get you there, having "fun" doesn't. So I expect to see even LESS of the wacky Admirals and stuff as people just start playing what leads to wins. I'm not a Worlds Winner; I'm good at the game but also realistic enough to know that about myself. But if I want to go, I have to go to Regionals loaded for bear with the literal deadliest thing I have. And I can't run from a match; the minute you do that third round at a high table your opponent may literally come across the table at you, because you're not just trying to preserve your points/place highly, you're affecting HIS ability to get to Worlds too.
But let's say that you end up Round 3 against a friend of yours; let's use Eric in this example. Eric and I are both top table, but he knows that Alex is playing Traveling Baseball (Eric's nightmare) the entire spring and summer and he can't go to Worlds because as a good father he understands how important this is to Alex.
|He's not even MY kid and I have pictures of him. That IS my hat, though.|
Now, honestly, neither Eric or I would do this, because that's full on garbage and you're a bad player/human being for doing it. But I put nothing past other people. You hang out with a Slytherin enough and you learn they're not always wrong. And I can guarantee the first time there's a controversy about "Who won X Regional" that this is gonna get brought up. That's not going to GROW any community I know of.
So remember that pin we had all those paragraphs above? The stated goal of FFGOP was, and I quote again, "to help players around the world meet other players, make new friends, and have fun playing the games you love."
My writeup of Worlds wasn't focused on the games; it was focused on the friendships I made and deepened there. I became better friends with Nathan, Jack, Eric, and Nick BECAUSE of Worlds. I met several people who I converse with at least every other day. Worlds isn't something most of us attend/love because of the game, it's BECAUSE of that community. We all get to geek out about Armada for 3-4 days together, talking about games we've played, catching up with this family of nerds we all know and like. The Armada Community is one of the most non-toxic and inviting places I've seen, and it's FILLED with wonderful people. The friends I made I don't even necessarily JUST talk Armada stuff with, I like hearing about their families and who they are as people. After Day 1A last year about 30-40 of us invaded Stone Brewing and just took the place over with nerdery. It was PHENOMENAL. I got to experience basically the ending of Return of the Jedi.... well, without the Ewoks.
|It was basically just like this. I think that's me and Biggs here....|
What about "making new friends?" You know, ALL those friends I met at Worlds and might not have the chance to see again elsewise? Yeah, that's a big failure, too. So we're 1 for 3 here, "Have fun playing the games I love." Great. Can't wait to potentially not attend with several of the friends I've made along the way.
As an engineer, I try not to complain about things without solutions (or just to complain, haha. Well, not OFTEN!) so I've got 2 potential fixes in mind. Without having the ability to peek behind the FFGOP curtain, I don't have the ability to make them read this or even change their minds or anything. But I can't just do NOTHING....
|The joke is sitting RIGHT THERE|
The other option that I know won't happen but hell, I gotta take my shot-
|Yeah, it's a John article now alright.|
|Quack. Quack. Quack quack quack qua- aw, no Mighty Ducks cheer? Boo.|