So intentional draws have been put out to pasture and modified wins kicked to touch. Everyone is happy right?
I’m happy with this, so article done.
No, want a bit of waffle and filler before coming back to the same conclusion? Step right in my friend, this is the place.
Today’s memes are brought to you by the office of national statistics.
It always seemed odd to me that you did not get a modified loss and that the old scoring system would have effectively made more sense if it were:
Full win: 4 points
Mod win: 3 points
Draw: 2 points
Mod loss: 1 point
Loss: 0 points
Or something to that effect, rather than the actual system:
Full win: 5 points
Mod win: 3 points
Draw: 1 point
loss: 0 points
The only issue was that effectively you very rarely got a modified win/loss result which in the past two years I have had all of three, and that a draw was rarer still. In the early days there was some kind of argument for the modified win but as the game moved away from the early waves and the player base grew it became a bit redundant. In a tournament a modified win could scupper your day or at the very least drop you to the bottom of the pile for those on similar win/loss records.
Naturally the intentional draw debacle increased draws and IDs were seen as a way to eliminate people playing for a draw, by intentionally drawing within the rules. FFG responded to the melt down on the internet by deciding to overhaul the points system and eliminate draws.
Why not use initiative?
So the new system is:
Win: 1 point
Loss: 0 points
Draw decided by Final Salvo, a kind of penalty shoot-out.
I’m not a gambling man although I would have wagered a gentleman’s’ bet, (a pint of beer), on the outcome being that in the case of a game going to time and the points of destroyed ships was even, initiative would have been the deciding factor, one way or the other. It was already used for deciding the outcome in knockout matches. There are some pros and cons to using initiative as you could game to it and the choice of initiative for some squads is quite important if they either want it or not.
When the game ends in a draw you now take the number of dice equal to the unmodified primary attack value of the ships you have left and whoever rolls the most hits and crits wins. In the case of mutual destruction you both use all your ships in your squad. There is draw backs to final salvo as some ships will have an advantage over others as you can only use your unmodified primary attack value of the ships. Ships like the Tie advanced, Jump master 5000 and Y-wing could be disadvantaged whilst some have thought that a squad of 4 sigma squadron phantoms would be in a very strong position to play out a draw and gamble on the final salvo. Frankly this is a ridiculous plan as attempting to not engage at all is likely to end in tears at some point for the Phantom player.
Final salvo is a bit clunky as a mechanism but at least it will not affect initiative choice which is a core mechanic of the game and squad building for something that is an extremely rare occurrence. So will everyone be happy?
The Corner Case scenario
A while back I wrote about Major Juggler of Maff Wing and Nova Squadron radio fame and his negative play experience due to a draw in the Major Juggling of Going to Time.
In a nut shell Major Juggler was at an event, went undefeated but failed to make the top four cut. He drew his first game, won three and got a modified win along the way. This left him fifth with four players above him on four full wins and one loss for 20 points whilst he sat there on 19 points. The bone of contention was that in the draw the opponent had a stress hog left on one hull as time was called whilst his stress hog was on full health. The opponent’s stress hog was also pointing towards the edge of the board for the final get out arc manoeuvre.
This under the new system would go to Final Salvo and rather than a draw Major Juggler’s opponent will have a fifty-fifty chance of engineering a win with his final manoeuvre from a potential losing scenario. There is nothing wrong in playing for this and playing to the rules although one would suspect that anyone in Major Juggler’s position would feel slightly aggrieved if the Final Salvo went against them.
The Partial Points Solution
Major Juggler suggested a partial points solution for games going to time:
The remedy suggested is that you should score points, (partial points is the coined phrase), for every shield and hull you have destroyed rounding up. For example if you had a 12 point Academy Tie Fighter limping around on 1 hull it would be worth 8 points to your opponent. So in the case of the draw in question the Y wing would be worth 22 points, (gold squadron with TLT, BTL-A4 title and stress bot).
The issue with this is that you will change the meta whereas Final Salvo will not, especially when you take into consideration how unlikely a draw is. Also you would really need to apply partial points to the game in general which will make shield and hull upgrades really important. Imagine the difference a hull upgade makes on Soontir Fel if partial points are around.
Soontir Fel: Push the limit, Royal guard title, auto thrusters and stealth device: total of three hull at 12 points each for first two.
Soontir Fel: Push the limit, Royal guard title, hull upgrade and stealth device: total of four hull at 8 points each.
Although in theory a better system in determining the winner when a game goes to time it would change the meta. This was a big issue with Warhammer 40,000 with tournaments having different tournament packs and scoring systems which at the minimum would shift the Meta at their respective events. When I have looked at Degree of Victory scoring for X-Wing all that would do would make two ship builds more efficient in maxing out big wins for tournament points. Partial points would have a similar knock-on effect which when you weigh it against Final Salvo. It makes Final Salvo more appealing because as mentioned before how rare a draw is and finding a way to gain a result without effecting the vast majority of matches and the meta.
As I said at the very start I prefer both the new tournament points system as it makes all squad builds viable from swarms to two ship builds while finding a resolution to eliminating draws which does not tinker with the way we build our squads. I would prefer a more elegant system than effectively rolling off for the win in the odd case of a draw but seeing as in about ninety tournament games over two years I have ended up with a total of 3 modified results and zero draws Final Salvo provides a reasonable system of determining a winner from a drawn game.
It won’t please everyone and as above there will be a corner case scenario in which you could feel aggrieved if the Salvo goes against you but in the grand scheme of things it will probably never effect you.
Anyone throwing their arms up in the air about Final Salvo needs to consider the following in regards to statistics and the likelihood of getting a draw in X-Wing :
You are more likely to die from either a coconut falling on your head or being impaled by cutlery in your dishwasher than a shark attack.