Saturday, 5 May 2018

FFS FFG!

No doubt many of you have seen the recent announcement of x-wing 2.0... a general tidying up exercise that does introduce some cool new mechanics and overall looks quite good... apart from one minor detail. They're changing all the dials and cards...

Now I can understand their reasons for changing things, giving old ships access to manoeuvres that hadn't been invented when they first started flying that, agility wise, they are perfectly capable of doing... they're also removing all points from cards so everything can be run through an app keeping points up to date and balanced for the ship it's attached to. But hold on a minute, they are basically saying "all the models you currently own, are now worthless."

Last time GW did something like that, people burned their armies in protest. Now I still maintain that was a stupid over-reaction, and in citing it I am exaggerating my point here a little... but apart from that stunt there were many people who, whilst not so pyrotechnically minded, certainly had plenty to say about the issue. Yet so far, the internet seems to be quietly optimistic about 2.0

Now I said ffg were rendering your model collection obsolete, but they are offering a fix, an index if you will. A conversion pack that has many of each ship for a faction, for a mere 50 dollars. Not so bad right?

However... I have a large collection, including a TIE swarm. I have 8 basic TIE fighters, and 7 TIE/FOs. So I will need 2 Empire conversion kits to cover my TIEs. So that's 100 dollars. Except it doesn't cover all my TIEs, as the FOs are being moved to a new, distinctly separate First Order faction, that has yet to be released. Assuming similar numbers and price point, I'm now looking at 200 dollars to convert my Imperial collection. Oh, and I have all three (soon to be five) factions, large numbers of each. And will need the new damage decks and core stuff, so that's a core set too. All in all, I worked out I was going to have to spend about 550 dollars, or £400 or so, to get every ship flying again. £400 on cardboard (and I guess three ships from the new core set but seriously, we're talking £400 on cardboard here) That is rather an eye-watering price in my opinion.

For natural collectors like me, GW edition changes haven't been too painful... some stuff gets better, some stuff gets worse, but if you had some of everything you mostly got by... it was only really the tournament players who took 7 flyrants then found they could only use 3 that got pissed off. I buy my codex and I'm good to go. If I'm using second edition orks, they still count. If I have 10,000 points, one codex still covers it all. The very idea of "old models can't be used" or "ooh, you have two armies worth of models, better buy two codices" seems outlandish to me.

Granted, I would very rarely fly them all. Some friends have suggested just buying a pack of each and working from there. But that then leaves me with, what, four tie fighters that are just spare models in case I break one? No that's silly. I like to be able to use any and all my collection. I have played a few mega games of xwing with friends, and it has been great (albeit confusing) fun for several hours as we try to keep track of thirty ships each. I'd like that to still be an option for me. Plus, this incident has damaged my trust in FFG. Let's say I drop £400 on upgrading everything... who is to say I won't have to do so again in 5 years time? Ok, sure, all the points can be kept up to date on the app, which is free... for now. What if they start charging to use it? Before you know it the xwing app is the latest thing like Warcraft where logging in daily gets you boosts and bonuses and you can buy upgrades with cash that other players won't have access to? Silly exaggerations? Maybe... but then again if you'd told me a few years ago that FFG would make their playerbase entire collections useless by changing the damn dials I'd have called you a fool and a liar.

So what shall I do? Well given they've just rendered all first edition ships pretty much valueless I don't think selling the collection on will be a good move, I'll be lucky to get a quarter of what I could have got before this announcement. Who would buy it knowing how much they need to spend to get it road-legal again? Instead, I think I shall box up the collection, and pull it out for the occasional game with others who got off the xwing wagon during first edition - I know a few. They'll be familiar enough with the rules to pick it up and play it without getting confused with second edition rules that they would never have bothered to learn. Same as I still have an 8th edition Warhammer fantasy army in storage for a rainy day of boredom, that shall sit there too. Waiting it's chance to relive old glories.

Also in future, I shall still be an FFG customer, but I think I'll be sticking to their boxed standalone games, of which they provide an excellent variety. I don't think I want to risk having my fingers burned by them again by collecting anything that requires ongoing support. Shame, I liked the look of Star Wars Legion... now I just haven't the confidence in FFG to take the plunge.

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