Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by psychoticstorm, Aug 6, 2019.
Well...you've certainly picked your hill. It's one small mound to die on, but who am I to judge?
Again, this comes into the realm of people's personal opinions of whether "playing well" and "focusing on killing rather than the stated objectives of the scenario" are the same thing.
I'm not the one claiming the mission design has a fundamental problem and needs a complete redesign using a different basis.
All I've suggested is maybe you trial it and come back with some tangible results as to how it leads to better gameplay.
I remember when time ago, the game was for 4 turns and retreat didn't meant the game to end. Half of the games were a "wipe out the enemy" and try to do any objective at last turn. Those were awful times (as awful as when avatat, achiles and cutter were specialists because lieutenant), because that was like playing only one mission over and over again. I hope those don't come again
The force to do the mision was one of the best decisions CB made with ITS. There are plenty kill-all-you-want missions, but leave that ouside other objective missions
In order to get to that point, you had to interact with their army by attacking it. As opposed to Smoke Grenade to cover objective => press button.
In a two-player, zero-sum game stopping the opponent from completing their objectives is basically the same as you completing yours.
Attacking your opponent's pieces is basically the only meaningful counterplay this game has. Effects that punish you for doing so are discouraging the fun parts of Infinity.
Shooting in this game is fundamentally more interesting than pushing buttons; only one of these activities actually interacts with your opponent. This isn't a Euro board game; I feel like some people are inherently conflict-averse and enjoy the idea that their opponent is punished for attacking them too much.
No, it's exactly arbitrary, because someone had to make the decision to make that rule. Moreover, there's no particular reason why the fluff/narrative surrounding the game indicates that killing your enemy's troops wouldn't be laudable.
Here's the thing... it's not. At least not in a tournament. A 1-0 win is quite a bit different from a 10-0 win.
Again, that depends on the mission. Most buttons can be flipped, for example.
As an individual action, sure. But as a gameplay objective that you need to build a list and budget orders for while at the same time not getting blown to bits before you get there? Not so sure I agree.
This is precisely what retreat advocates (if I can even call them that) are trying to avoid. It's not that shooting the crap out of your opponent is non-interactive, it's that it makes all missions basically the same objective and people find that uninteresting.
I mean, I get it. This game is fundamentally different from other wargames because of the ARO mechanic. "It's always your turn" is something I hear a lot when people are teaching it. But so is, "Most missions are not about killing the enemy."
This right here sums up why we disagree.
Where I see nuance in tactical decisions around balancing achieving objectives against an antagonist force. You see rolling wip to press a button.
Where I see just hitting things with the biggest stick. You see nuanced tactical decisions around outmaneuvering your opponent.
Armihaul says it best. It used to be what you're currently advocating for and it sucked. Missions were very one dimensional.
I think there is pretty good balance, lots of missions don't have retreat.
So I don't see why we can't keep that balance.
The thing is that there isn't balance right now. Stompy factions like Ikari get punished for having better access to pieces that shoot first and push buttons later. The armies that you see overperforming in IP are also the armies with the most efficient specialists. For some armies, putting an opponent into retreat is the best way to guarantee you can score.
It also makes absolutely no sense from a fluff perspective that killing the other team should punish you.
Retreat is also *fucking terrible* game design for the person put into retreat as well, because it means they have absolutely no chance of coming back. I thought one of the main design principles of Infinity is that players should always have a chance to come back no matter what the situation is, and retreat completely prevents you from making a comeback in this case.
I think we've already established that it can make sense from a fluff perspective. The fact you might not like that or agree isn't really an argument for why it's bad.
And yeah no, disagree its terrible design. Because so far noone has come up with anything better and we already have experience of missions without it. And we'll, there weren't really missions. Just different flavors of Kill the other guy than press a couple buttons or sit somewhere
Ok, maybe it's not strictly zero-sum but in order for one player to win, the other has to lose.
Sounds real fucking interesting. Playing the faction with the cheapest Camo infiltrators, hiding, and pressing a lot of buttons...
Since there's already missions like that, the game handles playing defense seriously just fine.
"Most missions are not about killing the enemy" isn't really a truism of Infinity; if you look at the description of Infinity from their website:
"Victory or death" not "button push or Retreat." Also, it specifically calls out Direct Action missions as being the default state of play.
I really think we haven't. Why does the mission's timeframe end suddenly if you kill too many enemies? Seems extremely illogical. Haven't heard a convincing argument for this yet.
...you literally answered your own question in the same sentence. You could use the rulebook version of Retreat (game doesn't end when retreat happens) or just not use it at all. Both would be superior.
A come back from Retreat is entirely possible with a command token or two, or some troops with Veteran or even courage. It depends on how far ahead the opponent is in objectives, but if they have completely ignored the objectives in favor of killing, then a single specialist can potentially swing the game to a win or tie.
This is what I like about these missions, that scoring objectives and strategic killing of enemy units is more important than the wholesale obliteration of the opponent's units. It simulates a more covert operation where the objective must be accomplished without too much noise or reinforcements will be alerted, or perhaps even a third party will descend on the area, or some other similar issue arising, (I do no feel like there needs to be official background written for why the operation is over when one side goes into retreat).
So I think we may have lost the plot. This is the thing about what we would like to see in n4 not the argue every idea into the ground postings.
I would like to see missions become more story driven, I love the campaign missions and special ones in the books and world wide campaign.
Killing models is fine but the story and idea that this isn't a battle game should be more of a focus.
I don't think retreat makes a ton of sense in how it works but as a game mechanic to stop someone from just stomping someone's face in ...it kind of works. Especially in ITS competitive formats.
I am not a competition player...when I play at an event I walk away having had little fun and burn out on the game for awhile so I get I am not per se the classic player.
Maybe the mission objectives should be easier to accomplish generally? ITS X has some of the bloatiest mission objectives and designs in the history of the game. Unmasking for example requires a ton of orders to get the max score (since you both have to push buttons midfield and go kill HVTs that can be tucked 2 orders further up the field than your infiltrators start, meaning even in very ideal circumstances it's going to take you 5 orders to have a high chance of getting all three buttons with WIP13 specialists, and at very minimum 3 more orders on each to get to where the HVT is with most armies, for a minimum total of 14 orders, or more than half of the expected order economy of the game for a 10 order list), the Xenotech extra at release was literally "spend an order plus an extra order each time you fail a coin toss" and is still spend an extra order each time you fail a slightly weighted coin toss, and a number of other missions encourage player non-interactivity because of the amount of buttons to push (The Grid, Tic-Tac-Toe, Comms Center.)
You know the other thing all four of those missions have in common? They both have that awful game ending retreat setup.
The problem is that for a game that sells itself on interactivity, much of the mission design encourages strategies that rely around non-interactivity.
The game needs to find a balance between allowing armies that shoot first and push later to do that, and armies that push first while trying to minimize losses do that as well. I've seen Haaq players win games without killing a single model, for example, and that wouldn't change even if tabling your opponent was encouraged/allowed by missions, because some armies have order economies that make that viable, and some don't. The reason that pre-rework NCA and ASA were (and in many ways) continue to be based around high order counts is because they lack some of the more efficient/well-rounded specialist options afforded to newer/stronger armies. ASA has Nagas and it still feels like sometimes it wants to shoot first and push after!
Specialist-focused mission objectives already do that without the ITS Retreat! rules.
To me, it doesn't make much sense. Killing everyone before they have a chance to raise the alarm seems more sensical.
Retreat also provides the added benefit of bringing steamroller games to an end without having to drag through the awkward motions against an opponent who may have lost all mean and inclination to fight back. I like Retreat as a mechanic. There are some cases where it can be a bit janky, but it adds another way to play the game and encourages objective play.
The game shouldn't be balanced around players who get tabled. I don't mean that in an elitist way, but if your opponent is winning and wants to finish the game, deciding you want to pick up your models and leave is super poor sportsmanship, especially in a tournament situation.
Personally I am way more pissed when the game ends because I'm in retreat but I think I could score with one more turn than when I get tabled.
In some missions (Transmission Matrix, forex) that's already a thing. Moreover, if the game ends early because it's a foregone conclusion, their opponent should get max points.
Exactly. If you miss objectives because you were too aggressive, that’s on you. You could have gone a different route, but instead you cost yourself maximum points.
It comes off too much as "We will try to punish our players for trying too hard to win. Sportsmanship is to be had in toying with your opponent instead of attacking them earnestly."
No one is questioning whether or not this is true, that's no controversial at all. We're questioning whether or not it *should be* this way.