Friday, January 13, 2017

Recent Errata - Effects and Controversy

On January 12th, 2017, FFG released a rules update (which you can find here). There were a few changes, most minor, but one very significant one.

A long requested change, making it so that figures were worth points when killed, rather than completely wiped out. This was one strength of Trooper lists, being able to deny nine or ten points by denying the kill of a single model. So now, each model is worth victory points equal to its figure cost when killed. This has the interesting effect of changing how many points specific units are worth.

 While both 7-cost units, Snowtroopers go down to an effective six points, while elite Jet Troopers go up to an effective 8 points. An interesting effect of the change, but one I expect to be entirely marginal and without any effect on the game.

But an interaction with this new rule has sparked a significant amount of controversy. Namely, how Reinforcements affects Victory Points. Does it make the Trooper unit worth an extra 3 points? Does it steal 3 VPs from the opponent?

I feel that the rules on it are fairly clear, though I'm uncertain which was the intention. I think this is important to understand, and I will attempt to show my thought process on how Victory Points now work.

Victory Points are now calculated, rather than earned, for killed models. You add the figure cost of each defeated model, then add earned Victory Points, then assess whether the game continues. This calculation will be done continually throughout the game. When a model is killed or VPs earned, the calculated number will change. It's important to make the distinction that a model killed does not earn Victory Points.

The wording on Reinforcements (and the oft-forgotten Endless Ranks) is very specific. Take a defeated Trooper and return it to the map. It is no longer defeated. Thus, when the VPs are calculated, it will not contribute its figure cost to the opponent's total.

Let's compare it to a mission objective. From the Lando expansion, "Priceless" Relics. "For each artifact a player controls, they count as having an additional 6 VPs." The wording is different because objectives typically earn you VPs (which are thus permanent), but the effect is the same. In the same way you have VPs while you control a relic, you have VPs while a figure is defeated. When it becomes untrue, you no longer have those VPs.

I hope that this was clear enough to show how I've come to the conclusion I have. If you've come to a different conclusion, feel free to comment what made you conclude differently.

What Comes Next?

So, with this change coming alongside a wave of Jabba's Realm, I think we'll see an even greater diversity amongst the lists we see being run. I think Troopers are never going away, though. While this was a definite strength of the archetype, Troopers have no lack of strengths to compete in the meta. I expect they will be less omnipresent, but a strong contender to matter where you go.

But I want to know what you think. Do you disagree on my interpretation of the rules? Do you think this will completely wipe Troopers out as a viable option? Feel free to leave any thoughts in a comment.


  1. If VPs are constantly being calculated, then how do you spend VPs for something like Black Market or Jabba? Will we only be able to spend VPs earned by objectives and card effects?

    1. A very good question. This wanders into an area less defined, but I feel like you can still spend the victory points you have from defeated figures. Spent VPs will have to be denoted in some way and the marker will serve as an anti-VP of sorts. This could result in the curious scenario of where VPs are spent while the player has them, but is then lost, via Reinforcements or Pickpocket, potentially resulting in negative VPs. Something we haven't seen before, but nothing out of the question.

    2. All VPs are the same. You can only spend VPs you have. But if you lose them (either via reinforcements or the Lando mission mentioned above) you just go down.
      You can not go below zero. Any points lost below zero are ignored (that's in the Jabba's Realm rulebook).

      So yes.
      You can kill a figure. Gain 3 points. Control and objective on Lando's mission (count as having 6 more points). You are now on 9 points. You use Jabba's Order hit twice over 2 turns. Which costs 2 points each time.
      So you're now on 5 points.
      Now you lose control of the objective which drops you to -1points, which becomes 0 because you can't go negative.

      It's simple and works for every situation. Any other explanation either makes reinforcements pointless or becomes supper annoying to track (like splitting VPs between figures and missions)

    3. Ah, thanks for letting me know. I'd forgotten that Jabba's Realm had sneakily introduced new rulings via its campaign book. A couple of other errata are in there, too.