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Developing List (subtype): Apex Predators


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#61 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

In the end, Outmaneuver vs Predator will come down to playstyle.


I suppose, if your play style is to face tank with a couple of individual TIEs. Jousting typically favors swarms. A couple BSPs? Not so much.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH, 08 June 2014 - 12:24 PM.

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#62 Aminar

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:22 PM

But it may take your action to get the benefits of Outmaneuver.

 
An action you should probably be taking anyways, if you don't want to get blown up. I know some people who think that barrel roll is the most powerful ability in the game, and I don't entirely disagree.
 

Which makes no sense. A single reroll helps a Tie far more than it helps an X-wing mathematically. And against low PS ships its a free target lock. To put it simply, Kinetic is wrong. The increase from 1.5 to 1.76 damage per shot is kind of enormous.

 
I don't think we're looking at the numbers the same way. Statistically speaking, which is more likely to occur, rolling two natural hits or rolling three natural hits? Obviously the former. With respect to the odds, then, and not some arbitrary fractional value, which ship benefits the most from a single re-roll, one with two red dice or one with three?
 
Like I mentioned before, there's a reason why nobody uses Flight Instructor. Half the time it's a complete waste of points, because you're going to roll an evade anyways. The value of a single re-roll increases substantially, however, with every green die you add to the equation. The problem is that large ships cap at two agility, and the Firespray only has one crew slot. The same principle holds true for red dice.
 
In fact, the major difference in our opinions may be that you are looking at value, and not the appropriate statistics involved. When you're only rolling two dice, rolling a single blank hurts much more than it does when you're rolling three. In that regard, an additional re-roll may be more valuable (and let's remember that this is a subjective term) on a TIE than it is an X-Wing, but it is not statistically more significant. As I pointed out above, it's just the opposite. And, with respect to value, Outmaneuver actually does at least as good a job as Predator, if not more so. A single hit becomes considerably more valuable when it's likely to deal damage, which is what Outmaneuver accomplishes. If you don't believe me, consider the value of an Ion Cannon Turret on a Y-Wing. An enemy ship is at range two. Do you roll two reds and hope for more damage, or roll three and hope that a single hit gets through?
Outmanuever is as vulnerable to not being used as Predator, which is nowhere near as vulnerable as flight Instructor.
But in all seriousness. The stats are in. Outmanuever outdoes Predator on damage but applies to far less rolls. In addition it is a greater boost on a 2 dice ship than any other. It's a reroll on half your dice. The effectiveness of Howlrunner has been long known. And Predator applies almost as significantly when you barrel roll as Outmanuever does. It's not a huge increase either way.
Outmanuever functions best on ships that want to reroll. Ships that can focus and target lock, or want to use target lock more often, or already have some form of reroll support, from ships like Howlrunner.
But Predator will work best on Black squadron. Barrel roll is not the best tool for arc dodging. It's good, but it's better for moving back or forward a range unit.

#63 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:28 PM

The effectiveness of Howlrunner is proven... on groups of several ships. How often do you see her paired with only one or two other ships? Like I said before (and why I'm forced to perpetually repeat myself, I'll never know), with Howl you're talking about modifying a pool of 6-10 dice. Predator on a pair of BSPs will affect somewhere between 2 and 4 dice. That's nowhere near the same value, so the comparison falls short.

And as for this misguided comment:

Barrel roll is not the best tool for arc dodging. It's good, but it's better for moving back or forward a range unit.


No offense, but I think someone needs to teach you how to play the game better. Barrel roll is amazing for arc dodging, which is exactly what you should be doing with these ships anyway.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH, 08 June 2014 - 12:37 PM.

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#64 Aminar

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:23 PM

The effectiveness of Howlrunner is proven... on groups of several ships. How often do you see her paired with only one or two other ships? Like I said before (and why I'm forced to perpetually repeat myself, I'll never know), with Howl you're talking about modifying a pool of 6-10 dice. Predator on a pair of BSPs will affect somewhere between 2 and 4 dice. That's nowhere near the same value, so the comparison falls short.
And as for this misguided comment:

Barrel roll is not the best tool for arc dodging. It's good, but it's better for moving back or forward a range unit.


No offense, but I think someone needs to teach you how to play the game better. Barrel roll is amazing for arc dodging, which is exactly what you should be doing with these ships anyway.
5 Ships with predator can move further from eachother, cost less than 5 ships with Howlrunner, and don't fall apart when one ship dies.

#65 Red Castle

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:38 PM

Hmmmmm! A new Swarm is born!

 

BSP+Predator x4

Backstabber

Dark Curse


I'm a french native player so sometimes, some expressions or meanings might be lost in translation. I mean no disrespect.


#66 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:38 PM

5 Ships with predator can move further from eachother, cost less than 5 ships with Howlrunner, and don't fall apart when one ship dies.

 

I'm sorry, what? I think you need to go back several pages and start reading from my very first comment.

 

Your math is, again, flat out wrong. Five ships at seventeen points a piece is 85 points. Howlrunner accompanied by five Academy Pilots is only 78, and you get one more ship. And if you think a TIE swarm falls apart when Howl dies, I have to question your experience with this game (for a second time, considering your comment about barrel roll). Swarms are powerful because of Howl, but they wouldn't be nearly as ubiquitous if losing her was so catastrophic that it automatically put you in danger of losing a game.


Edited by WonderWAAAGH, 08 June 2014 - 01:43 PM.

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#67 StevenO

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:14 PM

Hmmmmm! A new Swarm is born!

 

BSP+Predator x4

Backstabber

Dark Curse

 

Already mentioned in this thread even.  Pg 3, post 43.

 

As I noted then it may not be forced to fly in formation but for the six ship swarm use Howlrunner and BSP+VI (which also saves 5 points; Predator on Howlrunner?) when flying the four ships in formation and you've got almost the same thing except at a higher PS.


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#68 Ravncat

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:11 PM

Also consider, 5 black squadron with outmaneuver are likely to have 3-4 of those ships out of arc on any given turn.
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#69 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:19 PM

Also consider, 5 black squadron with outmaneuver are likely to have 3-4 of those ships out of arc on any given turn.

 

That is most certainly true, but the point has long since been made that you really shouldn't field more than 2-3 individual TIEs equipped with Predator anyways.


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#70 Red Castle

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:28 PM

 

Hmmmmm! A new Swarm is born!

 

BSP+Predator x4

Backstabber

Dark Curse

 

Already mentioned in this thread even.  Pg 3, post 43.

 

As I noted then it may not be forced to fly in formation but for the six ship swarm use Howlrunner and BSP+VI (which also saves 5 points; Predator on Howlrunner?) when flying the four ships in formation and you've got almost the same thing except at a higher PS.

 

Are you really asking my short term memory to remember something posted 3 days ago!!!? Where is the world going to!  :P

 

Sorry, probably missed it the first time I read the thread. It should be fun to try out if you're in the mood of a swarm flying all over the place instead of in a tight formation. But predator must evantually come with another unit because there is no way I'm buying 4 Defender. 2 is enough!


I'm a french native player so sometimes, some expressions or meanings might be lost in translation. I mean no disrespect.


#71 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 08:01 PM

I don't know if it's more personal style or squad building. If you are using them as flankers then outmaneuver might be the go to. If they will be flying with others: predator. Also, if you need a damage punch or are expecting 3ag ships, you would prefer one or the other.

Flew outmaneuver again today. Mixed results again. Feels like the Rebel Captive vs. recon debate. When you have one you want the other.
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#72 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:40 PM

Since I came down on it so hard I thought it necessary to point out a time I had success with it. Here was my one last ditch effort on Outmaneuver vs. Predator:

BSP + OutM x2

RGP + PTL

Delta + HLC + EU

 

Pick your poison.  Fly some crazy early routes and get your opponent all turned around and then pounce.  I placed delta far off to the right...Opponent shouldn't react to this but if they do you've already won half the battle: across from you- Turn tail and run or plink away and KTURN while the rest of your force flanks).  Ties stacked slightly left of center.  RGP goes where most needed based on their early deployment.

 

The fun begins as all 3 Pods of ships are fast enough to turn1,2,3 and completely change route turn 1.  All 3 pods can also turn 1 and BR backwards to stall while the other 2 flank.  You will outflank them or you will lose.

 

Outmanuver works here because it's a 6pt investment that if your opponent denies by flying at the 2 BSP's gains you HCL and Interceptor flanking.  If they turn to face either of these larger threats you get OutM to trigger much easier.

 

It takes some doing and a lot of planning/flying to make work but it's another of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations you can impose.

 

What function are your BSP's fulfilling in your list? 



#73 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:23 PM

Isn't that pretty much the same battle plan I drew up a page or two ago?

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#74 MajorJuggler

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:23 PM

Issue here being that with Predator and Focus you have an 88% chance of rolling two hits(somebody else posted this math, I think juggler, in regards to Howlrunner rerolls). Yes, that leaves you with a problem against High agility ships. But High agility ships are not going to be easy targets to outmanuever.

A/E-Wings, Interceptors, Ties, and Phantoms are all great at avoiding outmanuever. Cutting them to 2 agility just isn't as good as knowing you'll get 2 hits almost every attack.
Outmanuever adds more damage yes. But flying to use it effectively is another matter. Outmanuever is best on A-Wings and Interceptors.(and Phantoms, but they need Vet Instincts much much much more.)

 

 

Rerolling one die (by Howlrunner or Predator) increases average damage output against real targets by around 35% for 2 attack dice ships, and around 30% for 3 attack dice ships. So is it worth spending 3 points on top of 14? That's increasing the cost by 21%, to get a 35% attack damage increase. It's not the worst deal in the world, but it's slightly overcosted for what you are getting. If you are spending 20% more on a ship, to break even you need to increase BOTH attack AND durability by 20% EACH to make it worth it, or alternatively increase EITHER the attack OR defense separately by about 40%. Now, against lower PS targets you can reroll 2 dice, which would be primarily beneficial for 3 attack ships, but I haven't run those numbers yet.

 

Since Predator has a fixed cost of 3, it's actually a better buy on ships that cost more, since you will get more use out of it. The best use would be on a named TE Defender, which is where the upgrade card comes with. Go figure, its almost like FFG thought about this...

 

Ironically though, the PS6 Defender already has a built-in (conditional) free Target Lock ability, so the best use of Predator is probably on Rexler, the PS8 Defender.

 

So, the best ships to use Predator on, excluding ships like named squints that auto-need PtL, are probably:

  • PS8 TIE Defender
  • PS7/8 Firespray
  • Named TIE Phantoms (assuming not the VI + ACD route)
  • Named YT-1300
  • Named E-wing
  • Named B-wing
  • Named X-wings

In many of these cases you will be able to find a better EPT to use. PtL is the obvious example, as it is mathematically superior to Predator on ships with a Target Lock, but it is much more restrictive in its use.

 

Predator is best on expensive, lone-wolf ships that can't easily take PtL to TL + F, either by lack of stress shedding removal, or lack of a Targeting Computer. That exactly describes Rexler Brath. Incidentally it also allows you to perfectly fill out a pure Defender squad for 100 points:

 

Rexler Brath + Predator

2x Delta Squadron Pilots


Edited by MajorJuggler, 09 June 2014 - 02:27 PM.


#75 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:25 PM

Issue here being that with Predator and Focus you have an 88% chance of rolling two hits(somebody else posted this math, I think juggler, in regards to Howlrunner rerolls). Yes, that leaves you with a problem against High agility ships. But High agility ships are not going to be easy targets to outmanuever.
A/E-Wings, Interceptors, Ties, and Phantoms are all great at avoiding outmanuever. Cutting them to 2 agility just isn't as good as knowing you'll get 2 hits almost every attack.
Outmanuever adds more damage yes. But flying to use it effectively is another matter. Outmanuever is best on A-Wings and Interceptors.(and Phantoms, but they need Vet Instincts much much much more.)

 
Rerolling one die (by Howlrunner or Predator) increases average damage output against real targets by around 35% for 2 attack dice ships, and around 30% for 3 attack dice ships. So is it worth spending 3 points on top of 14? That's increasing the cost by 21%, to get a 35% attack damage increase. It's not the worst deal in the world, but it's slightly overcosted for what you are getting. If you are spending 20% more on a ship, to break even you need to increase BOTH attack AND durability by 20% EACH to make it worth it, or alternatively increase EITHER the attack OR defense separately by about 40%. Now, against lower PS targets you can reroll 2 dice, which would be primarily beneficial for 3 attack ships, but I haven't run those numbers yet.
 
Since Predator has a fixed cost of 3, it's actually a better buy on ships that cost more, since you will get more use out of it. The best use would be on a named TE Defender, which is where the upgrade card comes with. Go figure, its almost like FFG thought about this...
 
Ironically though, the PS6 Defender already has a built-in (conditional) free Target Lock ability, so the best use of Predator is probably on Rexler, the PS8 Defender.
 
So, the best ships to use Predator on, excluding ships like named squints that auto-need PtL, are probably:
  • PS8 TIE Defender
  • PS7/8 Firespray
  • Named TIE Phantoms (assuming not the VI + ACD route)
  • Named YT-1300
  • Named E-wing
  • Named B-wing
  • Named X-wings
In many of these cases you will be able to find a better EPT to use. PtL is the obvious example, as it is mathematically superior to Predator on ships with a Target Lock, but it is much more restrictive in its use.
 
Predator is best on expensive, lone-wolf ships that can't easily shed stress. That exactly describes Rexler Brath. Incidentally it also allows you ti perfectly fill out a pure Defender squad for 100 points:
 
Rexler Brath + Predator
2x Delta Squadron Pilots

Why no Outmaneuver love, Juggy? Can I call you that?

FFG über alles!


#76 MajorJuggler

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:37 PM

Outmaneuver can also be good, I'll have to run the numbers on it. This was just in reply to the effectiveness of Predator, is all. Predator is one of the easiest EPTs to use, that's for sure. It has no drawback other than its cost and consumption of the EPT slot.



#77 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:59 PM

Isn't that pretty much the same battle plan I drew up a page or two ago?

You expect me to remember all my good ideas and All of your's? U B crazy.

It's about list building. I'm not sure exactly where it will end up falling but it takes some of the "new" tactics/ships to get it to work. RGP was needed as a high PS flanker, defender was needed as a mobile HLC platform (firespray works but attracts different attention and big bad gets in the way of up close BR's).

Edited by Rakky Wistol, 09 June 2014 - 03:03 PM.


#78 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:21 PM

Well, first there was this:

 

You're supposed to slow roll with the shuttle, and flank with the TIEs. Your opponent is then forced to either focus all his attention on the shuttle while he takes a pounding from behind (where, again, Outmaneuver would probably be a lot better), or turn his attention toward the TIEs while the shuttle and Vader similarly go to town. Either way your opponent is going to expose a vulnerability somewhere, at which point you take complete advantage of the situation. I'd still prefer to take a Firespray with Recon Spec over those gratuitous shuttle upgrades and a third or fourth TIE, thereby adding another valuable element to your list - the ability to kite. 

 

Remember, slow roll your shuttle. Make liberal use of the 0 and 1 maneuvers, and if your opponent is stupid enough to come after it anyways, bite him in the ass.  

 

And then there was this, which sort of inferred the same thing (i.e. flanking tactics over a direct approach):

 

 

In the end, Outmaneuver vs Predator will come down to playstyle.


I suppose, if your play style is to face tank with a couple of individual TIEs. Jousting typically favors swarms. A couple BSPs? Not so much.

 

 

But to answer your question, yes, if we're going to discuss lists I expect you to at least remember the context in which they're being fielded.Two or three TIEs in a flanking role, paired with other craft that forces your opponent to choose from equally bad options, was always the object of my commentary. 

 

My question is, how were you using them before you adopted this strategy, and what else was in the list?


Edited by WonderWAAAGH, 09 June 2014 - 03:27 PM.

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