New Player, Question Regarding Reworking?

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MCPooge
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New Player, Question Regarding Reworking?

Hello!

 

So I just became an excited new Sentinel Tactics player through the awesome holiday sale. I have read through the rules, but I haven't had a chance to sit and play a practice game against myself to test out the basics.

 

However, I have a question that, perhaps, doesn't have an easy answer (or any answer at all).

I know the Battle for Broken City / For Profit expansions were delayed due to reworking some rules of the game. I also know that the next expansion (due out early next year, right?) will be the Prime Wardens one, due to it perhaps being better able to attract players.

My question is this: what is it about the game that potentially needs reworked? The way I understand it, the game is being reworked due to unpopular and confusing mechanics? But the only concrete complaint I've read leveled by multiple people is the system for character movement, which doesn't seem that terrible to me.

 

I understand if there isn't really an answer to this, but I just wanted to ask, so I could be on the lookout for what mechanics to tell my friends are the problem areas potentially getting fixed!

Ario
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I'm not in the company so don't take anything I say as fact, but Prime War/Rise of the Ennead won't be out early next year, they're still playtesting and aren't committing to a hard date yet. 

Reworking the rules is still in flux I believe (in playtesting,) but in addition to movement many people had complaints about how overpowering Aim and Dodge are, that the line of sight system does not work intuitively, and that some characters seem over/under powered. 

I hope you continue to enjoy Sentinel Tactics and like it even more once the updates are out! I too enjoy the game and hope it has a long future ahead of it!

 

Foote
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From my personal experience in Tactics as sold right now, I absolutely hated rolling movement at the end of every turn. I played for a long time in playtesting and after the game was released and I hardly ever remembered to do it in the heat of the moment while playing. And if I didn't, surely the folks who were just learning or who only played a few games didn't. It was always something where, 2 turns later, someone would be like "oh shoot, we forgot to roll movement, should we do it now?" and have to stop the flow of the game. I understand the design choice of why it was made and what it was supposed to accomplish, but from a practical standpoint it never worked as intended.

I feel there is a lot to love about Tactics. The idea of a great game is there. Playtesting is being extensive in order to better nail down the execution of the idea.

As for your question as to whats going to change, I can't really disclose anything. What I think is fair to so is that the core system is not being overhauled, but the details within it (things like movement, LoS, learning curve, scenario and character blance, Aim/Dodge), are all things being looked at to try and find ways of improving "learnability" and "playability".

arenson9
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You've asked what needed to be reworked.

The answer isn't simple. I think the general concerns fall into two camps:

  • The amount of time and effort required to learn, remember, and apply the rules was disproportionate to the speed expected of a 'light' tactical game. It wasn't wildly off, but teaching the game maybe took longer than desired and some aspects of the game slowed down gameplay more than they were worth. It's not nececessarily that any one thing was so bad, but the end result tipped the ratio of fun vs. effort to a place that resulted in a smaller market for the game than was hoped for.
  • There were some concerns that too often scenarios and skirmishes seemed to devolve into run to the center and hit as fast and hard as you can.

 

I want to be very careful in replying not to reveal details of the ongoing work. It's not my place to do that, so apologies for vagueness. Please also take the above as just _my_ opinions. Not everyone liked/disliked the same things. I, for instance, think that rolling movement at the end of a hero turn is great, though admittedly I've seen plenty of people forget to do it, including myself.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

Chaosmancer
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While I've got no idea of the specifics, I think that Arenson9 makes a very good point in his second bullet point.

 

While there are plenty of clever manuevers you can come up with, it is really hard to beat a full-offensive strategy, except by going even more offensive and beating them to the punch. There are plenty of defensive abilities, but the majority of them never get used, because they don't seem to offer enough to counter the amazingly powerful offense many characters can pull off.

 

If you go to the Greater than Games Youtube page, you can watch most of the tournament videos from...2014- 2015?  And you'll often hear that a defensive strategy just wasn't worth the time or effort. You go in swinging hard or you lose, in most tournament matches

 

 

All just personal opinion, but I think that is one thing I hope gets addressed, because it really limits the game if out of 7 powers, only 3 or 4 are worth using the majority of the time.

 

Also, the scenarios I was told, never worked out very well. I never got a chance to play them extensively (didn't have a group willing to play PvP that much) but there were a lot of reports on the forums of them being incredibly biased towards one side or the other.

MCPooge
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Thanks so much! Everyone's replies are very helpful to me, and I appreciate all of you taking the time to talk about the weaknesses of the game as it is.

 

With my requests about what was changing, I didn't mean to sound like I was asking for hard facts from the playtesters. I just wasn't sure if there had been any announcements giving any details. Unfortunately, because I hadn't been following Tactics from the beginning, it was kind of hard to be sure what I was reading was the most current information!

 

Again, thanks everyone. I will check out the tournament videos on YouTube, just because I really really like this game so far and I haven't even really played it with anyone yet!

Foote
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There are quite a number of tourney vids with some great strats and team building. You will also see the pitfalls of the tourny setting because 99% of games never got to finish the 2nd round (either due to the crazy time constraint or far more likely that the 3 incaps were already reached).

There was a game I casted with Christopher at Pax East (awesome experience) that I loved what the one team was doing team build wise. They went with a strategy I had mentioned previously with Ambuscade which planned to set up a massive 2nd round swing. And it likely would have worked, however they had set up Ambuscade to go last on their team. So round one Ambuscade cloaks off the field to set up the big Droid/Aim/Rocket turn, but the match ended before he got a second turn. If Ambuscade had acted first, he would have won the game when he reappeared for sure.

But the fact that in a 3v3 match not everyone could even get a 2nd turn speaks to some of the issues I want the rework touch on.

Either way, there are some great matches from different tournys. Totally worth watching.

 

MCPooge
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I've started watching some of those videos, and I have to admit, there are also some terrible games, with people who have no idea what is going on making really bad decisions, haha. The casting is great, too, pointing out the terrible plays and showing true confusion!

Foote
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MCPooge wrote:

I've started watching some of those videos, and I have to admit, there are also some terrible games, with people who have no idea what is going on making really bad decisions, haha. The casting is great, too, pointing out the terrible plays and showing true confusion!

We try to not mention those ones =P

MCPooge
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Foote wrote:

 

MCPooge wrote:
I've started watching some of those videos, and I have to admit, there are also some terrible games, with people who have no idea what is going on making really bad decisions, haha. The casting is great, too, pointing out the terrible plays and showing true confusion!

 

We try to not mention those ones =P

Well, those ones are good for testing my understanding of the game and different characters. Like at the start of each turn I think about what I would do, and then listen to the casting for validation!

arenson9
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A fairly large portion of the tournaments included people who'd learned about the game the day before.

When I played in the 1st tournament in STL, we went more on a lark than because of any particular skill or experience. Our first game was an absolute train wreck, up against the eventual runners up. We used the strategies we learned against them to make it past our next two opponents and out of the losers bracket, only to face our game1 opponents again. We tried to use the same tactics on them, but they were prepared and once again destroyed us handily.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

Chaosmancer
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When I played in Gencon we named our team "Crash Course" because while I was signing up to play, two people I knew who had never even heard of the game before joined me so I had a team to play with.

 

I was literally teaching them the game like 10 minutes before our first match, and was still teaching them by the time we were picking for our first match.

 

It was a brutal loss, since we had no time to plan and I paid no attention to the opposing teams choices as I was just info dumping on them. We turned it around and got to the quarter finals before losing again (I believe Arenson subbed for our opponents) but I can attest, sometimes you just don't get enough time to learn the game before the match starts. That was part of the fun as well though.

arenson9
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It turns out I'm not very good at Sentinel Tactics. I have a leg up occassionally, because I've watched abunch of tournament matches, and I have some reasonable familiarity with many of the characters, but I haven't played all that many games, and I don't really know all the power cards that well. Watching the commentary on my matches from the STL tournament isn't so bad -- I knew I didn't know much then, but watching the commentary on the matches from Gencon is gruesome. I thought I was kinda hot shit, but, uh, not so hot.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel