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"Defender" is a misnomer


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#21 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:54 AM

The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 
Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.
The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.
But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)
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#22 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:58 AM

The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 
Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.

The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.
But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)


For these reasons, I'd actually rather have a Hull Upgrade. It pushes its survivability ahead of the Firespray, actually, and that's a lot.
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#23 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:06 AM

The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.
The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)
For these reasons, I'd actually rather have a Hull Upgrade. It pushes its survivability ahead of the Firespray, actually, and that's a lot.

My numbers very much disagree on it outliving the Firespray. If the Defender is modifying most of its defense rolls yes, but I don't see that as a likely scenario.

#24 Cmacaulay

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

Maybe the Defender will get better with time as we move to squads with fewer ships, as it will have the chance to modify a higher percentage of it's defensive rolls.


Imperial Navy: 5 Tie, 1 Interceptor, 1 Imperial Aces, 2 Bombers, 1 Tie Advanced (though I'm not proud of it), 2 Tie Defenders, 1 Tie Phantom, 1 Firespray, 1 Shuttle.

 


#25 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:33 AM

Hm, running my own math on this, on three dice there's a focus-rolling probability distribution like so:

 

#focus Probability

0          42.2%

1          42.2%

2          14.1%

3            1.6%

(Please correct me if my math is off; I'm a bit rusty on this stuff. I also ran my spreadsheet on this several months ago for the attack dice, but given that the attack dice and the defense dice have equal numbers of eyeballs, that shouldn't matter.)

 

So, you're really weighing the 42.2% chance of 0 against the 15.7% chance that you get more than 1 focus, given that you're indifferent between 1 focus and 1 evade token. Sure, that 1.6% is a nice cherry, but .... it's 1.6%.

 

Of course, the versatility of the focus is its asset, but if your opponent made it so that he's out of your firing arc, then it seems like the evade token is better than the focus for purely defensive purposes.


Edited by Mikael Hasselstein, 11 July 2014 - 11:33 AM.


#26 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:36 AM

Maybe the Defender will get better with time as we move to squads with fewer ships, as it will have the chance to modify a higher percentage of it's defensive rolls.

The Defender certainly does better in a lower ship Metagame. The question becomes, where will the metagame go. Because right now the ships that benefit most from the lower ship Meta are Large ships.(The Outrider, Decimator, Firespray and Falcon at least, maybe not the Shuttle) will all love only taking 3 attacks a round. The Firespray does as well, but it lacks the benefit of C3PO. Defenders lose their biggest advantage against Falcons, and decimators, and will have to work hard to utilize it against the Outrider and the Firespray. Rexler can do fun things come wave 5 though.
I still don' see them fitting into the Metagame well.

#27 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

Hm, running my own math on this, on three dice there's a focus-rolling probability distribution like so:
 
#focus Probability
0          42.2%
1          42.2%
2          14.1%
3            1.6%
(Please correct me if my math is off; I'm a bit rusty on this stuff. I also ran my spreadsheet on this several months ago for the attack dice, but given that the attack dice and the defense dice have equal numbers of eyeballs, that shouldn't matter.)
 
So, you're really weighing the 42.2% chance of 0 against the 15.7% chance that you get more than 1 focus, given that you're indifferent between 1 focus and 1 evade token. Sure, that 1.6% is a nice cherry, but .... it's 1.6%.
 
Of course, the versatility of the focus is its asset, but if your opponent made it so that he's out of your firing arc, then it seems like the evade token is better than the focus for purely defensive purposes.

Agreed. having both is much better. The more attacks leveled the more the focus might come up multiple, but like I said, that's a gamble. A big one.

#28 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:50 AM

Agreed. having both is much better. The more attacks leveled the more the focus might come up multiple, but like I said, that's a gamble. A big one.

 

I guess if you know tons of attacks are coming, you can opt for the focus, knowing that the more times you have to roll your three defense dice, the more likely it becomes that you will roll two eyeballs.

 

But, here it is: you roll one eyeball on the first defensive roll. Now the dilemma: do you break even by spending it, or take the chance on the upcoming roll that you will roll two eyeballs. At that point, you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?"

 

Well, do ya, punk?


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#29 Duraham

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:16 PM

I just got my hands on my very own Defender... and I want to like it so badly. IMO, it already has some great building blocks to be a competitive ship (i.e. the K turn, the stats, the HLC capability.), and if you're color-blind it has a phenomenal maneuver dial. In the games I've played with it, it has the highest damage output of any ship I own... but dies faster than my interceptors. It just needs one little teeny-tiny little push to be awesome; like the capability to evade, or at least receive a free token (looking at you fleet officer).

Has anyone else had any success with it, or ideas to unlock it's potential?


Rexler PTL
Vessery VI
Yorr Shuttle

Not only do you fully unlock your complete maneuver dial, you also get to use both pilots' abilities reasonably well. Only problem is that your Shuttle is relatively useless, and you are in all honesty a 2 ship list



#30 KillingTime

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

I've run it a few times now and I absolutely love it.

It's survived all but one game it's played in. It always seems to get beaten on pretty badly to start, but then the white K-turn kicks in, and I just stay on their tail and finish them off. K-turn combined with barrel roll is a super powerful combo, as is K-turn target lock.

The white K-turn and 3s down the board really is all that.


(-o-)  (-o-)  (-o-)  |-o-|  |-o-|  |-o-|  (<o>)  (-co-)

:>8@8<:   -</o\>-


#31 LukesFather

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

the defender is a joust machine, thus the white Kturn.  Add outmaneuver to it and this ship starts to wear down the opposition.  I took 2 with that (both named) and a Saber with VI.  so 6/6/8.  flew the saber and other 6 together and the 8 solo.  let the other player tray and chase one, and then came around with the other ships.  I took 5 hits the whole game.

 

I did see that Decoy would benefit Rex ALOT, but need to finish that build out more.


Rebels -  3 A wing - 5 B wing - 2 E wing - 2 HWK - - 5 Xwing - 2 YT-1300 - 2 Y wing - 3 Z95
Imperials - 6 Tie/F - 1 Adv/T - 2 Firespray - 3 Tie/I - 1 Aces - 2 Lambda - 3 TIE/B - 2 Tie/P - 2 Tie/D

EPIC - GR-75

Custom - 1 YV-545 (yt1300 conversion)


#32 Cmacaulay

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:31 PM

Just had a squad idea:

 

Vessery w/ Outmaneuver

OGP w/ Vader

Scimitar w/ Ion pulse missiles x2

 

The theory being that you can keep the bombers and shuttle together and split Vessery off to attack the flank. If they go for Vessery, they get two of their ships ioned (and the target locks stay on!) and a very punishing doom-shuttle behind them, merrily inflicting crits to it's heart's content. If they go for the shuttle and bombers, well, the imperial version of wedge is not a very forgiving fellow.  


Imperial Navy: 5 Tie, 1 Interceptor, 1 Imperial Aces, 2 Bombers, 1 Tie Advanced (though I'm not proud of it), 2 Tie Defenders, 1 Tie Phantom, 1 Firespray, 1 Shuttle.

 


#33 Plainsman

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:54 PM

I think it all really comes down to list building. The Defender is like any other ship in the game (minus maybe the TIE Advanced...), it has its strengths and its weaknesses. The key is build a list that suits it and not leave it hanging out to dry. Like was said before, Vessery and his ability can be absolutely stellar on an appropriate list. Pair him with a Buzzsaw and it's a match made in heaven. Is that a lot of points? Yes, definitely. But if flown well, those two can wreak absolute havoc on apposing squads.
 
The main key to success with the Defender thus far for me is the same as it has been for any other major point ship, give the opponent multiple juicy targets to make them choose one or the other, and stay flexible about which one they decide to pursue. That doesn't necessarily mean two big point ships, but given the choice of facing down a Defender or a mini-swarm will give the opponent pause. Don't be afraid to lose the Defender if it leaves you with another very good option for late game play, and vice-versa. I go in to every game with two or three strategies to choose from depending on which ship the opponent makes his or her target priority. Is it an absolute recipe for success? No, but at least it puts me in a position to be competitive. That is as long as the Dice Gods don't rain hellfire down on me...


I resemble this post! :D
Plainsman :)
Imperials: Ties x 5, Interceptors x 5, Advanced x 1, Bombers x 2, Defenders x 2, Phantoms x 5, Firespray x 1, Shuttle x 1
Rebels: XWings x 4, YWings x 2, BWing x 2, AWing x 2, EWing x 2, Z95 x 3, YT1300 x 2, HWK290 x 2, GR75 x 1,
CR90 x 1

#34 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:55 PM

#focus Probability
0          42.2%
1          42.2%
2          14.1%
3            1.6%

...So, you're really weighing the 42.2% chance of 0 against the 15.7% chance that you get more than 1 focus, given that you're indifferent between 1 focus and 1 evade token. Sure, that 1.6% is a nice cherry, but .... it's 1.6%.


Your math is correct, but your conclusion is focused on a scale that's too narrow. If all you need is to survive the very next attack, then evade is better.

But go ahead and call it a 40% to roll 0 evades and a 60% chance to roll at least 1. (This is obviously a simplification, but it makes the math easier.) That 40% shrinks down very quickly if you consider the value of a focus token against concentrated fire--i.e., the thing everybody does because it's effective. If your Defender is attacked twice in a round, you have only a 16% chance to roll 0 evades, and if you're attacked 3 times it drops to just 6%.

That's why I'm objecting to the note upthread that the Defender is seriously missing the evade action--for ships with 3 Agility, in practical terms the evade action amounts to hedging against a probability that's very low (the likelihood of seeing no [focus] results in the course of a round), at the cost of erasing a happy event that might otherwise occur (the likelihood of seeing multiple [focus] results in a given roll).

...I didn't mean to derail the thread completely. It's just that I've heard claims before that the Defender is unreliably fragile, but this is the first time I've had someone say that it's because it lacks the evade action. And there's enough mathematical evidence backing up my own experience that I'm comfortable saying the Defender is at least no worse off with a focus token than with an evade token--even if you never plan to use that focus for offense.
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#35 oncogene

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:21 PM

 

...I didn't mean to derail the thread completely. It's just that I've heard claims before that the Defender is unreliably fragile, but this is the first time I've had someone say that it's because it lacks the evade action. And there's enough mathematical evidence backing up my own experience that I'm comfortable saying the Defender is at least no worse off with a focus token than with an evade token--even if you never plan to use that focus for offense.

 

 

Ok, that was me, and here's what I said:

 

I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship.

 

 

This is different than claiming that it's the main reason that it's unreliably fragile. My opinion is that the evade action would give it a more reliable source of mitigating damage. And having an evade action opens up the opportunity to get both a focus and evade with PTL or a support ship, which is indisputably better than either action by itself.

 

That's it.



#36 Rithrin

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:28 PM

Not sure if anyone has touched on this already, but the Defender really suffers in action economy. It's a ship that is begging for PTL, but has very poor ways of removing stress. After all, it's a TIE, which means it wants to be barrel rolling into good positions. It's also a high attack ship, especially with HLC, which means it wants to be Focusing and/or Target Locking even more than other TIEs to avoid relying on your luck with variance. Then people are putting Engine Upgrades on it anyways, and making it's action usage even more demanding. The ship costs a ton of points because it's a high agility ship, like usual, that's also tanky. As something that is at minimum 25% of your squad, you can't afford to be throwing unmodified 3 dice attacks down every turn.

 

Interceptors are excellent as you can have 4 ships with 8 actions every round, more if you're including someone like Soontir or Turr. With Defenders, you'll be hard pressed to have 3 ships and 4 actions, even. What's worse is that the named Defender pilots actually want to decrease your action economy, rather than boost it. Rexlar wants you to lose an action to use his ability, in an already action starved squad. Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

 

Having the Evade action wouldn't help Defenders much, not because Evade is ineffective, but because using Evade exacerbates it's core problem. I think the people who fly two HLC Defenders with Jonus may be on to something, but I'm not sure it's enough. Certainly, though, when Fleet Officer comes out there will be many more possibilities. Currently, I'm finding an ST-321 titled Omicron Pilot with Weapons Engineer and an FCS to be a very valuable ally for Vessery. You can even have more than 3 ships and will have a decent amount of actions.


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#37 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:31 PM

#focus Probability
0          42.2%
1          42.2%
2          14.1%
3            1.6%

...So, you're really weighing the 42.2% chance of 0 against the 15.7% chance that you get more than 1 focus, given that you're indifferent between 1 focus and 1 evade token. Sure, that 1.6% is a nice cherry, but .... it's 1.6%.


Your math is correct, but your conclusion is focused on a scale that's too narrow. If all you need is to survive the very next attack, then evade is better.

But go ahead and call it a 40% to roll 0 evades and a 60% chance to roll at least 1. (This is obviously a simplification, but it makes the math easier.) That 40% shrinks down very quickly if you consider the value of a focus token against concentrated fire--i.e., the thing everybody does because it's effective. If your Defender is attacked twice in a round, you have only a 16% chance to roll 0 evades, and if you're attacked 3 times it drops to just 6%.

 

I'm not a big fan of the Defender for reasons that we needn't get into, so I don't mind derailing the thread ^_^

 

But I'm not sure I follow your reasoning or why my scope is too narrow. Either token is one-use-only, so it only matters in the shot that you use to defend it from.

 

Now, sure, if there are attacks coming up that you REALLY want to avoid because they're of a certain nature, or if you have Stealth Device that you want to protect, then there are specific issues, but it seems like we're talking in general terms here.

 

So, in terms of concentrated fire, you're going to defend yourself from multiple attacks, but you can only burn the focus/evade once. The more you can blunt the earlier attacks, the longer you keep your shields, and the less danger you face from critical hits. So, in that respect, your dilemma is about how lucky you feel and how you might get that double-eyeball in a future roll. But once you've already rolled the green dice for the first roll, then the probabilities on the second roll are the same as on the first roll, and you might as well prefer certain for uncertain.

 

But maybe I misunderstand your point. Could you please clarify what you mean?



#38 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:02 PM

My opinion is that the evade action would give it a more reliable source of mitigating damage. And having an evade action opens up the opportunity to get both a focus and evade with PTL or a support ship, which is indisputably better than either action by itself.
 
That's it.


I apologize for distorting your point, and thanks for the correction. I do maintain, however, that it's open to question whether evade is more reliable than focus in practice, in this context.
 

But I'm not sure I follow your reasoning or why my scope is too narrow. Either token is one-use-only, so it only matters in the shot that you use to defend it from...
 
So, in terms of concentrated fire, you're going to defend yourself from multiple attacks, but you can only burn the focus/evade once. The more you can blunt the earlier attacks, the longer you keep your shields, and the less danger you face from critical hits. So, in that respect, your dilemma is about how lucky you feel and how you might get that double-eyeball in a future roll. But once you've already rolled the green dice for the first roll, then the probabilities on the second roll are the same as on the first roll, and you might as well prefer certain for uncertain.
 
But maybe I misunderstand your point. Could you please clarify what you mean?


When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

(*Of course if it's heads-up, end-game play those numbers converge with the likelihood for a single attack, and there evade is helpful. )

#39 Jaden Ckast

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:24 PM

I think people are running the defender in the wrong squads. Personally I feel it benefits the most from a 3 ship elite squad. For instance vessery with outmaneuver and hlc along with a BH w/recon spec and a scimitar bomber with ion pulse missiles for 100 points. This makes it a much tougher choice for the opponent to pick. If they decide to focus on vessery then you've got a BH with 3 attack and double focus along with a bomber that can shut down any ship with a double ion. Either way you try to go your looking at some nasty shots headed your way. Maybe elite build isn't the right word for this particular list but really my point is the defender needs wingman of equal threat in order to survive. Maybe this is the wrong approach and I'm not sure how competitive this build would be as I have yet to try it however I have played a game with a phantom and defender and just from that game felt like it needed other threats to fly along side it.
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#40 Tom2Toes

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

 

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.


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