Game balance

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bigpappa
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Game balance

Postby bigpappa » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Hi all my gaming club has recently discovered this game and a few of us love the show but there has been some concerns about the relative power of fleets.
Is the game generally well balanced or is it always going to be an uphill struggle for, as an example, a league fleet to beat a shadow/Vorlon fleet?
Like to hear Veteran feedback
Thanks
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Re: Game balance

Postby Tolwyn » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:16 pm

B5 ACTA has a problem based on the priority system.
Splitting down Fleet allocation points is always better then to take larger ships.

Between the fleets there is an power imbalance, too.
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Re: Game balance

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:31 am

The game is pretty balanced. The ships are pretty balanced within the priority system. The game does tend to favour lots of smaller ships over big ships.

That said, there some ships that are weak and some that are great. There are also some fleets that you have to work to beat, particularly if your opponent knows what he is doing.

Can a League fleet beat the Shadows or Vorlons? Yes. But it can come down to ship selection and priority. Vree are almost as maneuverable as Shadows and their fighters kick ass. But Shadow scouts will slaughter Drazi. Vorlon can be tough, but they have their downsides - get out of their fire arcs and they will struggle.
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Burger
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Re: Game balance

Postby Burger » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:25 pm

I would say yes, the game as it was left after the final update (P&P) was very balanced, as long as you ignore the Centauri Hunting Packs rule. It's more balanced than any previous version. It is often however, a game of paper-rock-scissors. Each fleet has its weaknesses and strengths, and some fleets are just screwed against certain others... the most obvious being Drazi vs Shadows.

Also some fleets take practice to get used to, so for your first few games you might think a certain fleet is broken (either too good or too poor) but when you get the hang of it, it's much more in line. EA vs Minbari for example, if you're both beginners, the Minbari will rip EA to pieces and the EA player will get very frustrated. But for 2 experienced players it would likely be a much closer battle.
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Da Boss
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Re: Game balance

Postby Da Boss » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:47 pm

The game is I feel pretty balanced and although the priority level system is not perfect - its quick and easy to use and at least initally the points system used for other ACTA games is no better balanced it seems..........

Arguably the only real weakness is the criticial system which can seem overely harsh against big ships butt ehre are soem suggestions in P+P to mitigate this if you feel this is the case.
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Re: Game balance

Postby bigpappa » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:02 pm

from our limited experiences minbari can be a pain to play against, Vorlons seem dull (they kind of just pivot, blow things up, soak up damage) shadows are interesting they don't seem at all over powered like we all feared they would be. EA and Narn seem alot like what we expected and I probably shouldnt have chosen Drazi as my first fleet to learn with (although I do enjoy using them, I m not sure on tactics other than fly at the enemy, shoot what I can, close blast doors and hope Droshalla blesses my beam rolls :) )
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Re: Game balance

Postby Da Boss » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:41 pm

Shadows are great and used well areextremely deadily but also you must also try the fleets of the Great Republic - such range, such a variety of Narn killing machines - and of course stunning looking :)
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Re: Game balance

Postby bigpappa » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:23 pm

funny you should mention the lion of the galaxy, I have a fleet for them im in the process of putting together...
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Re: Game balance

Postby Da Boss » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:40 pm

Ahh they will serve you well My Friend - Embrace the Centauri way and the universe will soon be at your fleet.
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Re: Game balance

Postby Arch Lector Petrovski » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:41 am

The game is pretty well balanced, as the guys have said and agianst some fleets it will often feel like an uphill struggle - Earth will usually struggle against Minbari. But, yes P&P negates a lot of the issues and niggly bits with the main rules; and as an honoury member of 'House Coto' I think the hunting pack rule is quite useful and stylisticly Centauri - just maybe limit it to Skirmish and below rather than Raid and below.

Vorlons and Shadows will always be a pain to face early on, but both have their weaknesses.
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Re: Game balance

Postby Da Boss » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:40 am

To be honest the Hunting Pack is a nice idea but IMO its overpowered and not needed.
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Re: Game balance

Postby AdrianH » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:43 am

Different fleets have different strengths and weaknesses, and although they generally balance out there are some mismatches. As has been pointed out, EA vs. Minbari and Shadows vs. Drazi tend to be pretty one-sided. EA vs. Centauri or Shadows vs. Minbari are more interesting.

The combined fleets are fun too. P&P introduced the Army of Light, which is a little bit of almost everything. There's also the combined fleet of the League, now restricted by in service date but still good if you want to mix Drazi and Vree, for example.

The Centauri hunting pack rule was not well liked and is not often used - the Centauri fleet are powerful enough and don't really need the assistance. ;)
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Re: Game balance

Postby bigpappa » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:25 am

played a game last night, drazi vs vorlons. Although the big drazi ships got one shotted early on, the lack of fighters to deal with the millions of sky serpents (horrible ships)who killed the smaller vorlon ships whilst the bucket loads of drazi skirmish ships kept getting enough weapon crits on the big vorlon ships to make them pretty much ineffective, and once adaptive armour was taken off through crits the Vorlon ships were not scary at all....
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Re: Game balance

Postby Burger » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:12 pm

EA vs Minbari can be very good... if the EA knows he is facing Minbari then he can take scouts, long-range fighters, high AD ships and split fire, prioritize weak(er) targets such as Tigara, get up close and into the correct arcs. It's a lot harder in tournament/blind fleet play of course but there are many ways to beat Minbari which are not obvious to the new player. Each of these tactics gives you only a slight improvement in your odds, but combining all of them gives you a good chance. A stealth 5+ enemy can often be brought down to 2+. In fact I would say EA/Minbari is one of the best match-ups along with Narn/Centauri.

Drazi are a bit of a one-trick pony, yeah. You could try Claweagles to mix it up a bit, they aren't that great a ship but they're a fantastic distraction because they scare the hell out of people. Drazi don't ever take anything above Raid, and mostly stick to Skirmish. Strikehawk and Warbird are your best ships, especially in squadrons (although you do need init sinks too). Don't forget you can do Attack Run and Track That Target - although both have high CQ checks so only use them if you have to. Just remember if someone puts Shadows on the table, run away fast... unless they take a Shadow Ship, of course, in which case, charrrrrrge!!!
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AdrianH
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Re: Game balance

Postby AdrianH » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:08 pm

Earth has other problems with Minbari apart from stealth. Earth ships are defended by interceptors and their damage is reduced compared to, say, a comparable Narn ship, to balance them. Interceptors don't work against beams or mini-beams, i.e. most of the Minbari fleet's weapons, which means they have the reduced damage without the balancing defence. Earth's other strong point is its fighters, which won't help much against lots of advanced anti-fighter. Heavy fighters with long range weapons can ignore that, but then they're not as good at dodging and dogfighting, so if the Nials don't get them then the mini-beams will. Boarding and/or ramming may help; a couple of Assault Hyperions could make things interesting for any Minbari ship which thinks it's funny to stay parked in asteroids. (Try to drive an Explorer through a Sharlin - you have very little chance of success but if you manage it, the result will be most amusing, at least for the Earth player. :twisted:)

Drazi are indeed best kept to Raid level games or less, meaning you don't need anything bigger than Skirmish level ships. If you want to play in a higher level game, I'd go for one of the combined fleets, League or Army of Light. Get your Raid and higher ships from someone else, then use the Drazi ships as flankers. You might also want to consider a couple of Guardhawks because that Vorlon player has probably learned his lesson and will buy some independent fighters next time...
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Re: Game balance

Postby Arch Lector Petrovski » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:15 pm

Minbari are always a tough opponent for the EA player. I remember a battle between my EA and my brother's Minbari in a campaign under the first edition rules. He knocked out most of my fleet before I could do any real damage and then sat a Sharoos at 36in away from B5; outside of its weapons range, and just stripped bulk-head after bulk-head before my last ship died and I surrendered. Really not a good day for the Earth Alliance.

Still some good battles though and I've gained a good bit more experience in using the EA since then. Some fleets are just easier to use well enough without much thought or practice, whilst some work best with an experienced player at the helm. But even then any fleet can be completely undone by one round of poor dice rolling or a few lucky; or unlucky, critical hits.

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