How Will 2.5 Affect Me?

I’m cautiously optimistic? Maybe 80% on board but no hard stops for me.’

‘Super disappointed.’

‘I think when we get the full rules write up it’ll work pretty well?’

‘AMG has no business running the game.’

What you see above are the varying opinions of some of the players on the RO Discord. As you can see, it’s varied, and that’s OK. Over the last month or so I’ve seen both sides of the argument and for the most part, can understand both those sides.

In all honesty, my first reaction each time AMG has revealed something has been to throw my toys out of the pram. I’ve looked at them and thought to myself ‘These look terrible, what is happening to MY game’. I’ve not played in a few months now too so I’m in mourning for a ruleset I never got to say goodbye to.

But, and here’s the important part I think; I have not played using the new rules yet. So I’ve had a little word with myself and I’m going to come at it from a different angle. I’m going to have a look at the squads I fly and my playstyle and try to work out what the new rules mean for me.

Note – You’ll quickly realise I was working this all out as I was typing!

A Typical ‘Ben’ Squad

For consistency I think I need to decide on a typical squad I would fly. That way I can apply the new rules to this squad and I’m not randomly picking ships to suit a particular point of view.

Yeah, this checks out! I’ve used multiple versions of ‘a HWK plus three X-Wings’ since the start of Second Edition.

Kyle Katarn (31)
Jyn Erso (3)
Engine Upgrade (3)
Moldy Crow (16)

Ship Total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 3

Red Squadron Veteran (40)
Selfless (2)
Servomotor S-foils (0)

Ship Total: 42 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 3

Red Squadron Veteran (40)
Selfless (2)
Servomotor S-foils (0)

Ship Total: 42 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 3

Wedge Antilles (54)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
R4 Astromech (2)
Servomotor S-foils (0)

Ship Total: 63 Half Points: 32 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z48XWW40WW107W156Y2X130WWWW142Y2X130WWWW142Y5XW234W5WW142&sn=New%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a simple squad. Kyle stocks up on focus tokens to pass out to the X-Wings, usually Wedge so he can double mod. The Red Squad Vets are there as big guns and to shield Wedge from crits. Wedge does Wedge things with Plasmas. Oh and I fly them in formation…until I don’t.

Obstacles

I will generally bring two asteroids (bigger ones) and one debris. Do I have a deep and meaningful explanation for my obstacle choices? Absolutely not. For a long time now I’ve trusted my ability to fly in formation (a pinwheel) so it hasn’t bothered me too much what I bring. So if anything I’ve brought asteroids because other people don’t like them. The debris is just to mix it up.

I’ve also been quite partial to zooming over asteroids to get the jump on an opponent. Actions be damned!

Now let’s take a look at the upcoming obstacle rules.

Asteroids
Suffer one damage. Then roll a red die. On a hit/crit result, suffer another damage.

Debris Cloud
Gain a stress. Roll a red die. On a hit/crit suffer one damage.

Gas Cloud
Break all locks and gain a strain. On a hit, gain one ion token. On a crit result, gain three ion tokens.

Hm. I think I’ll just end up taking three asteroids! I still trust my flying, I just doubt I’ll be flying over asteroids as I have been. I’d also rather take two damage than take a stress and a damage. I’d prefer to be screwed one way twice, not in two different ways…wait that sounded dirty. I think you get what I mean.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if your ship clears the obstacle then you’ll still get an action (unless you pick up a stress of course). So in the right circumstances that YOLO move over an asteroid could still be worth it. Intrigue.

Here’s a random image just because.

Random Order After Dials (ROAD)

Ugh. OK, so cards on the table. I’ve not been a fan of ROAD since it was announced. I can get on board with no bids and deficit scoring; these things sound good to me as I’ve never used bids. 200 points baby!

The idea of first player changing each round is fine too, as well as deciding it each round. What I raise an eyebrow to is deciding after dials. This grinds my gears. But as I said earlier, I haven’t tried it yet.

Looking at my squad, the ship that jumps out is Wedge at I6. You generally want your I6 moving last after all. However looking at this closer, Wedge does not double reposition. He’s a jouster. He’s there to punch you in the face really hard a couple of times before eventually dying. If he has a lock already then the most he can do is focus into a linked boost. If he ends up moving first it’s not the end of the world as Kyle can still pass a focus on.

The other three ships in the list are I3. Up until I paused playing a few months back there was an abundance of I3 and I4 so maybe this is where things get tricky? Honestly, I don’t think it will. As long as Kyle gets his action to focus I think the list whilst in formation can still perform, maybe more so now there’s going to be shooting at range zero.

Overlapping/Bumping

As I mentioned above; there are going to be new rules around overlapping/bumping ships. Below is an overview from u/kieransi on Reddit; you can find the whole document here.

New bumping rules: after you partially execute a maneuver, if you overlapped a friendly ship skip your action and roll an attack die. On a hit/crit, suffer 1 damage. If you overlapped an enemy ship, you may perform a red focus/calculate action (whichever is on your card).

Attacking at range zero: all ships may attack at range zero. While performing a range zero attack the attacker may not modify any dice (attack or defence) and may not add any range bonus.

Now I’m not 100% sure on how this works so bear with me here. But from what I’ve read so far this is going to change how I fly my pinwheel. Well, at least make me think about how I’m flying it a lot more. I really need to make sure Wedge is at the back of my formation so he moves last (I’ve cocked this up a few times because of absent-mindedness).

I’ll also need to be super careful how I set up my pinwheel at the start of the game too. When not enough attention is paid to that it can lead to bumping very quickly. So overall I think I can deal!

When it comes to attacking at range zero it’s basically like me having Zeb crew on all my ships without the range bonus. I can deal with that I think as it leads to more dice being rolled which suits how I play.

Conclusion

As it turns out, I don’t think the new rules are going to massively affect how I fly or squad build. This is super surprising as I was pretty convinced I’d hate the new rules. It just shows that sometimes you need to take a step back and take an objective view.

Of course, this is still a very narrow view as it’s only looking at one squad. I’m sure someone else will take the same steps for their typical squad and it’ll look very different. But until I get to play again this has assuaged my fears.


This is my final article of 2021! If this is your first RO article or you’ve read them all, I wanted to say thanks so much for taking the time. 2021 has been crazy in many ways but I’ve been consistently surprised and humbled by how well things I’ve written have done so thank you.

Thanks to everyone that’s contributed with articles too! You’ve really alleviated the self-imposed pressure of getting something out each week so big hugs to Martin, Justin, Aris, Mark, Jamie, and Chris.

2 Comments

  1. Nice article, your break down of the changes and how they effect your style of play was a good perspective to approach the subject from. A little like the Krayts and their ‘What do I need to do differently to win games’ podcast episode. It’s a practical approach rather than emotional.
    I must admit most of resistance to the changes comes from a fear that the X-Wing community might splinter or break up. There has been a lot of division with the new rules and I’d hate to see my (our) group fade away. The distraction of playing X-Wing has gotten me through some hard times, especially in the last couple of years.

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