It's been a while guys. Chandler and I have both been insanely busy with wedding planning, rapidly accelerating school work and a growing toddler on my end, and lots of travel, family commitments, and home renovation on his.
This marks our comeback article, and we plan on putting out at least three articles a week from here on out. You may have noticed that Tseung has moved on to other things, and the combination of our schedules and the daunting prospect of writing every other day left both Chandler and myself a little paralyzed.
Today, I'd like to give some first reactions to the proposed changes to the Steamroller Packet. I'm going to touch on the changes proposed, and spell out what I see as implications for the game moving forward. The Active Duty Roster changes will be the subject of a forthcoming article.
This is a much smaller change than last year saw, with only two new Scenarios and the scoring system and win conditions staying the same.
A couple of other important things have changed in this packet beyond the scenario changes, and I just want to highlight them.
First of all, the much maligned Divide and Conquer (DnC) rule wherein you must play both of your lists at least once in the current system is being removed. This is a huge sigh of relief to a lot of people, including many of us here at Line of Sight. One of the worst play experiences in the current packet is playing the same list all the way to the finals because it's the best list to play and then needing to play it again in order to win the final round, only to be denied by the DnC rule. I don't think anyone is going to miss this.
The second thing is the removal of a turn time requirement. Currently, a turn must be 15 seconds long or more. This is a leftover from SR 2016 and earlier where turn 7 wasn't a win condition, and with that uncompromising end time now in place it doesn't make sense to force players to take 15 second turns.
Most people will not notice a difference in how this affects their games, but, for example, the Las Vegas Open was won/lost on this condition, as have several other events I've participated in.
Okay, time to look at the new Scenarios:
This scenario replaces "barbells" as Breakdown was often referred to, and I like it quite a bit better.
The addition of objectives gives lists that need pathfinder or a magical attack greater access to those things, while also providing an always contesting piece to the central zone.
Once that objective is gone, it's also easier to contest a vertical zone than it is a horizontal zone, since it's effectively three inches closer to your deployment zone.
I expect to really enjoy this Scenario, as the typical Line of Sight blocking terrain in the middle will create some genuinely interesting positioning choices, and the balance of infantry and warjack/warbeast zones will reward mixed arms lists.
I really don't know what to make of this scenario yet. I think it's an extremely interesting design, as it forces you to set up your armies in a much more radial pattern than is typically seen in the current Steamroller scenarios.
Solos are going to be even more important, with Gremlin Swarms, Machine Wraiths, and Feralgeists potentially being too strong on this Scenario for their points thanks to Incorporeal. I know the Development Team is aware of the swingy effect that ability has on scenarios, and they've included the objectives in the Circular Zone perhaps as a way to give every list an "out" for those incorporeal problems.
I am most excited to test this scenario out, and I'm hopefully going to have a battle report for it later this week.
The Scenarios Staying the Same:
Recon II is getting a slight tweak, shoving the flags to the inside corners of the zones, which protects them from ambush quite a bit better than before and shouldn't really alter the way the Scenario plays too much.
Spread the Net stays unchanged, much to my chagrin. I personally feel that the flags on Spread the Net are too hard to get to and should be moved closer to the middle in order to make the scenario slightly less live.
Standoff stays as well, which is phenomenal. It's one of my favorite scenarios in the packet.
The Pit II also remains unchanged, which I think is just fine.
Overall, I'm excited to see where the competitive packet is going. I love the look of the new Scenarios, and I'm interested to see what people do with them.
If you've got any thoughts of your own, please share them! We'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for sticking with us through this long break guys, we're back and at it again.
Thanks for reading!