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Ends on Retreat

Discussion in 'ITS' started by QueensGambit, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Andre82

    Andre82 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else find it odd that pretty much everyone agrees retreat is used to encourage playing the objective...
    You would think denying your opponent the full use of his last turn would be more of an incentive to kill, especially if you are first player.

    So it seams the only thing people really care about when talking about retreat is ending the game early before fully farming for points?
     
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  2. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Nah, at that point you just bust out Army, or, if you're playing in a tournament with a draconian TO, just hope you have it memorized. Which isn't particularly fun.
     
  3. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Well, the current "farming for points" factor in ITS is a problem, but as long as they keep the Major/Minor victory dichotomy with OPs as a tiebreaker, it'll encourage people to toy with their opponents.
     
  4. Andre82

    Andre82 Well-Known Member

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    Yah. I have more then once had to farm a new player despite the fact I had pretty much already won as opposed to helping him understand what was going on.

    Now back to retreat.... is this legal for Acquisition?
    Strategy is go first starting in retreat by only really having a LT and a Ninja. Move my Ninja into base to base contact with the tech-coffin and end the game with a win?
    All sort of issues with it but can it be done?
     
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  5. Marduck

    Marduck Well-Known Member

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    I used to play before the EoR rule. Trust me, I would definitly play the killing for turn 1 and 2 (very efficient with a cutter) and the mission only in the last turn. Not very fun for my opponent or me.

    That is a great analysis. I think you really get a point here. Maybe we don't need that rule if the mission has to be scored each round, or even better, at the end of each player turn !

    Each player turn would make going second less a huge advantage in some mission. And if you don't get first turn you still get deploiement advantage + the opponent has to move his models forward, which make it easier for you to remove it on your turn.
     
  6. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    I frequently have to do that anyway with Onyx.
     
  7. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

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    I have to comment about this, a bit of what I saw years ago and so

    in the first games, there was mainly 1s, and even if there were objectives, killing the oponent helped a lot, so more of the time were 1s minions. In previous ITS a few years ago, there were more extreme 1s and 10s than in this, and not much between 3-7.. But in this, while all 1s remained almost untouched, all 10s got more near 1s... what I mean is that, little by lither, the game is going to the 1s again, so I can not see why it is closer to a 10, when most of the pushing button missions don't need as much specialists as before and are solved most of them in a fast turn.

    The one retreating is not the one denying the last turn to the oponent, he is in the receiving part of the stick and has not much decission. Is that same oponent who forced the retreat who is denying his own turn, when he ignored the objective and did other thing.

    if the one forcing retreat also went for the objective, he should be ahead and a last turn should not steal his victory. That only happens to those too focused in something that is not the mission.
     
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  8. Vaulsc

    Vaulsc Well-Known Member

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    I did make a YT video this evening having a bit of a talk about why I feel EoR isn't a realistic deterrent for players committed to a strategy of destroying their opponent first, and scoring easily in the last turn. But that aside, I want to raise a bit of a thought experiment:

    - We arrange to play 10 games back to back, ITS 300pts
    - You can pick the missions, but you're only allowed to pick missions that normally use the EoR for retreat.
    - However we don't actually use EoR. We just use the basic rulebook retreat!.
    - I'm only allowed to play lists I wrote in the past for these missions, prior to this thought experiment
    - You're supposed to take advantage of the lifted safety-net of no EoR retreat, by abusing your opportunity to kill me first, score later
    - You automatically win the LT roll every game

    How do you do it? What adjustments do you make to your list? In what way would your foot be off the gas pedal relative to how you would normally play? There wouldn't be any meaningful difference. There are so many incentives to incorporate a large element of mission-completion in your mid-game plan as it is. By the way, I prefer to go for my usual 'win in the last turn while avoiding a lot of fighting' strategy quite a bit simply because it's more reliable than killing you--not because I'm worried about retreat.
     
    #48 Vaulsc, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  9. Marduck

    Marduck Well-Known Member

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    I have great respect for your tactical analysis which I find very often accurate but let me disagree here.

    The EoR rule doesn't stop me from striking my opponent very hard on turn 1 and 2. But when I do so, especially if I am successfull, I always have to leave a lot of cheerleader alive or a single very power ful unit which I could have easily destroyed, but didn't because of EoR.

    Then, on turn 3, my opponent put all his models in ARO. And I have a very difficult 3rd turn trying to kill all these ARO and doing the mission at the same time, especially if it's a button pushing mission (especially because I play Pano and don't have smokes).

    I feel like that scenario keep happening again and again.

    In the end I think the best remedy is to have missions you score at every round or turn instead of end of the 3 turns.

    Edit : actually if a rule could go away with N4 to make it more simple, I think it's retreat. But we need a change in the mission then.
     
    #49 Marduck, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  10. Vaulsc

    Vaulsc Well-Known Member

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    Well, a lot of us have been playtesting this mission:

     
  11. Marduck

    Marduck Well-Known Member

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    I watched your video. Actually you have some strong argument. I agree the issue is more the mission scoring more than the EoR rule. In the pre-EoR era, almost every mission will give you points for killing. That is why everybody was going for the kill.

    And I strongly agree that it's not very interesting to have to worry about not putting your opponent into retreat.
     
  12. Vaulsc

    Vaulsc Well-Known Member

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    Thats cool. I hadn't considered your case of opponents trying to flip it back on you with a lot of ARO. It might be about the kinds of tables played in meta. I also live in an area where we have almost no good aggressive players.
     
  13. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit Well-Known Member

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    There are some great ideas scattered through this thread. I particularly like the idea of button-pushing conferring an in-game advantage - turning on difficult terrain zones, opening/closing doors, accessing turret-mounted weapons, etc.

    Even aside from the EoR issue, these ideas would make missions more interesting and fun, and differentiate them more.
     
  14. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    One game I have played a little is the Battlegroup WW2 rules. In them, you have both a points cost for each unit and a "battle rating (BR)". When a unit is killed, you draw a chit from the bag (range from 0 to 5, IIRC, it's been a while since I've played). That is how many BR points you lost from losing that unit. When you run out of army BR, your forces retreat.

    Basic line troops like infantry and tanks give lots of BR, but minefields, artillery, etc do not give any. So a highly skewed force like the defenses at the Normandy beaches, with lots of minefields and artillery, is very fragile in morale, but a force with lots of infantry and tanks and little artillery in support will take a lot of losses before breaking. Even if both of those armies have exactly the same points, they play very differently due to the very different BR totals they have.

    In Infinity, I'd probably determine BR based on Troop Classification: having Line troops count for a lot of BR, but Specially Trained and Headquarters troops count for little BR. Garrison troops probably wouldn't give much BR, either, but Veteran troops should count for lots of BR.
     
  15. Alphz

    Alphz Kuang Shi Vet. Retired.

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    Needed to watch your video before replying.

    So to re-summarise your summary for those who didn't watch the video.
    1. We can all agree that infinity shouldn't be all about direct action.
    2. There does need to some mechanic of consideration that enables that.

    However EoR isn't necessary because 1: it rarely occurs and 2. Doesn't discourage facestomping because its easy to avoid

    Based on what people say about their games this is currently the only mechanic for statement 2 in the current ITS missions. Whether it achieves 1, is definitely up for debate. Whether it does it well is more or less agreed - no it doesn't.
    But, the forum bingo here is that people just want it gone, with no adjustment to current ITS missions because it feels bad or is a bad mechanic and adds no value.
    That was the key point being discussed this time around and what the deterrent point was mainly highlighting, is it serves some function and we need to acknowledge that function and the value of said function (as you have) before dismissing it.

    So to address your video:
    1. It rarely happens or good players will just prevent it.
    Quite simply, clearly the people arguing it should be gone have had it happen at least a few times. Either they're not good players, or a player's ability to avoid it differs. I think your video takes the ease of avoiding retreat too absolutely.
    If its so easy to avoid, it wouldn't be an issue to most players and we could all agree its a mechanic that needs to go. That doesn't seem to be whats happening and not even acknowledging that possibility kinda torpedoes your next point.

    2. Its so easily avoidable that it doesn't function at a deterrent.
    Well yeah, in a perfect game plan retreat doesn't feature. But its in the game plan for most experienced players and I'm of the opinion it shapes the game plan, which is entirely the point. Maybe "pumping the brakes only a little" just enough before putting your opponent into retreat isn't a game plan thats reliable enough for players and so the meta trends towards more balanced gameplay
    Maybe its not. Kinda hard to say with certainty though. I'd obviously say retreat is part of the formula that contributes to that.

    It also raises the question, if retreat wasn't a deterrent/didn't come up, would so many people on the forums be salty about that one time they "lost entirely because of retreat".
    Its either achieving its stated function, and you even agree the function is worthwhile. Or its not a problem, in which case, is it really that important to get rid of, maybe it just needs a tweak.

    I'd like to see retreat developed more of a player controlled mechanic so there is more nuanced strategy around it - maybe players have to withdraw x models or specialists to end the game instead of being automatic. This way they need to choose if they keep trying to score points, or they withdraw to end the opponents chance to score more points.

    3. The example batrep.
    You've already called it but yeah the game example is a classic case of how retreat functions within the current ITS rules. If you forget one of the rules of the mission you're probably going to lose, the argument that it you just rewind and play different doesn't hold water that the rule is bad.
    "Oh I forget that I needed a hacker to press this button and lost. Such a stupid rule because I could have spent 3 orders on the hacker instead and won, why is it even there?"
    and yeah, having a hacker specific objective is a crude way to achieve getting players to take hackers - but you solve that with better mission design that achieves a similar goal rather than just throwing the whole thing out.

    The subtext in the batrep is obvious, the PanO player spent over 60% of their allocated resources shooting the opponent and did well, why didn't he/she win the mission by default?
    If the mission isn't about shooting the opponent why should it be rewarded? It seems a relatively simple logical step to conclude if shooting is rewarded in missions with objectives, players will focus on pieces optimised for shooting and not on pieces for achieving the mission and since shooting is easier than sneaking around pressing buttons, the players choosing optimised shooting pieces are probably going to win more than any other strategy.

    Which leads to your hypothetical:
    I actually think I would invest in less midfield specialists or models which provide utility at hunting midfield specialists. For example, instead of 2 FO guilang I would get a daofei HMG or double up on RuiShi. Order efficiency on specialists would be significantly less important. I'd probably play PanO more and bring some premier gunboats and 1-2 hidden or fast specialists.

    Overall though I think we largely agree, and you're right the trend of increasing defensive options available as well as the mission designs in ITS may soon obsolete the requirement of retreat. In the typical forum debate I've tried to always emphasis that I agree its clunky mechanically and could be replaced. I don't agree however removing it right now without the consideration of the overall goals it intended to implement would be good for the game, ie. by arguing it never achieved them to start with.
     
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  16. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    @Alphz What you're circling around is the issue is that for some factions you *can't* let retreat slow you down from killing, because if your opponent has 9001 specialists with smoke grenade cover, you gotta take them out during your active turn to stop them. So then you have to go full-tilt and pray that your opponent doesn't get put into retreat and steal a win. It's just a mechanic that sometimes hands a player an unearned victory, the factions that want to "shoot first, press buttons later" still have to "shoot first, push buttons later."
     
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  17. Alphz

    Alphz Kuang Shi Vet. Retired.

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    Ironically you've actually reinforced my point with Vaulsc.
     
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  18. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Have I now?
     
  19. Alphz

    Alphz Kuang Shi Vet. Retired.

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    Refer points 1 and 2 above.
     
  20. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    "It will sometimes hand a player an undeserved win" is still a problem, even if it only happens in 1/25 games.