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Z-Swarm the new swarm meta?


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#1 jpltanis

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:23 PM

I've just completed a few battles using 3-12pt Zs and 3-12pt Ties.  The Z wins pretty consistently (the higher PS is the difference).   I played the Zs and used X-wing AI application to control the Ties.

I am wondering, if others are seeing the similar results.  

I am pretty sure that the 8 Z vs 8 Tie (swarm vs swarm) will result in Z winning most of the times (due to the higher pilot skill) too.  If this is the case, I can see the naked Z-swarm being more formidable than the 8-Tie Academy swarm.   This in-turn makes the Z swarm more superior and perhaps the new swarm meta.

 


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#2 Lagomorphia

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:25 PM

You're playing against a crude bot. I wouldn't draw any conclusions about the metagame from that.


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#3 Sithborg

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:30 PM

Also, 36 pts doesn't tell you the full story, as you lack the full potential of 100pts. 8 TIEs vs 8 Z-95s isn't the issue. I question how well the 8 Z-95s will do against the Howlrunner swarm, as they don't exactly have a good replacement for Howlrunner.


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#4 iPeregrine

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

I played the Zs and used X-wing AI application to control the Ties.


Well there's part of your problem, you're giving one side a huge skill advantage. An AI program might be useful for basic testing to see if a list is even worth trying against a real player, but you can't draw any serious balance conclusions from it. Play some real games against an equally-skilled opponent and see if your results continue to favor the z-95s.

8-Tie Academy swarm


And there's the other part. Why aren't you using Howlrunner, the most powerful swarm ability in the game? Stop playing a bad TIE swarm list and you should see different results.
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#5 Hobojebus

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

Yeah ai isn't a substitute for good old human cunning.

 

If you joust ties versus z`s of course you'll come off worse, ties have speed and manuverability that out matches z95`s and proper use of that will even things out.  



#6 jpltanis

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:46 PM

I wanted to maintain 12pt/ships test (apple vs apple).   I realized that Howl plays a big part in the effectiveness of the Tie swarm, but Howl is not a 12pt ship.  

 

The Z-swarm is likely to target lock Howl and focus fire on him at first contact and most likely take him out during first round of fighting.   Howl can only maybe damage one Z, before the Zs return fire. 

 

I don't have 8 Zs to do a full test and am hoping the community can do a more real battle (human vs Human).  I believe that the Z-swarm may not be out of the question in tournament play.  


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#7 oddeye

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:00 PM

ive seen quite a few people here (mathhammers) say that the 95' is better per point cost than the tie.. there was an entire thread on it somewhere buried here on the forums. tie was 100% and the 95' was like 112% or 106% or something. in comparison a y wing was 88%.  

 

Like the OP said, he/she is only taking into account 12 ship versus 12 ship. sure howl will make a difference, so will a couple of well placed assault missiles...cough.. ermmm...


I see your schwartz is as big as mine. Let's see how you handle it!


#8 Rambler

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:31 PM

Alright bump it to 5 Academies + Howlie vs 6 Headhunters with a single Assault Missile.

I think you will be surprised how long a 3 Agility + Evade will last against 2 Attack Dice. Go ahead and please focus fire on the ship that has already fired.

Edit added 2 Attack Dice.

Edited by Rambler, 11 July 2014 - 07:15 PM.


#9 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:34 PM

Yeah, there's no point in matching 3 Bandits against 3 TIEs, even with two human pilots; same goes for 8 vs. 8. Numbers is not the only part of the swarm.

 

Sorry, OP, this is not an adequate test.

 

Now, it would be interesting if you flew the Zs against the AI, but you wouldn't be testing the Z swarm vs. TIE swarm, but testing the added value of a human player by comparing to your earlier scores.


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#10 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:38 PM

I wanted to maintain 12pt/ships test (apple vs apple).   I realized that Howl plays a big part in the effectiveness of the Tie swarm, but Howl is not a 12pt ship.  
 
The Z-swarm is likely to target lock Howl and focus fire on him at first contact and most likely take him out during first round of fighting.   Howl can only maybe damage one Z, before the Zs return fire. 
 
I don't have 8 Zs to do a full test and am hoping the community can do a more real battle (human vs Human).  I believe that the Z-swarm may not be out of the question in tournament play.


The problem is (still) that your test doesn't have much bearing on tournament play, because 8-TIE swarms are a fairly rare beast.
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#11 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:53 PM

I'm going to be out of line here and say I don't rate the Z95 at all. A poor movement dial (no sharp 1 turns or 5 straight forwards means it's slow and not very manoeuvrable), weak attack, weak evade and it's a carrier for ordinance that may well fail and which pushes up its cost to 15 points minimum but often a lot more than that. Go for a decent pilot skill and you can be spending nearly a quarter of your squad points on a 2 attack dice ship with an unreliable missile. Munitions Failsafe may help a bit but there's always the chance that you will just do 1 hit making it a waste or that your pilot skill is so low you will be dead before you get that second shot.
 
Not a useless ship, I can see how it could be fitted out with assault missiles to defeat TIE swarms but as an Imperial player I rarely fly a swarm anyway. Z95s just look like cannon fodder to me.
 
I realise that isn't the "received wisdom" and expect to be told I am wrong many times in many ways but that's just the way I see it.


Well, you are wrong in many ways. You don't seem overly receptive for a debate on the issue, so I'll just ask you, how comprehensive is your experience with this game?

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#12 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:09 PM

No, we can keep this polite. You just make it sound like you've made up your mind and can't be budged on the issue. It behooves us all to keep an open mind when people hold an opinion that we don't understand. I'll try to address your main points one at a time:

 

1) The Z-95's dial is actually very average, slightly different from an X-Wing's, but no worse. Only three Rebel ships have a 1-hard maneuver (one of which is red, and another you're likely to pay over 42 points for), so that's not really a mark against the Z-95. Similarly, only two Rebel ships have a 5-straight. It does share a 3-K with both the A-Wing and YT. Again, the Z-95's dial is very average, but I count that as a good thing - especially since you're only paying 12 points for it.

 

2) The Z-95's attack is no more weak than your average TIE Fighter, and, according to the math-wingers, the Z-95 is alleged to be slightly more durable than the TIE while costing the same amount. Those two red dice really start to add up when you throw them enough times, which is what you should be doing for only 12 points a ship. I'm not sure a competent player would accuse the TIE Fighter of being mere "cannon fodder," so perhaps we should keep a similarly open mind about the Z-95.

 

3) The Z-95 is far and away a better generic missile platform than the A-Wing. The A-Wing is overpriced enough as it is, without factoring in the cost of ordnance. Five ships loaded for bear makes for one heck of an alpha-strike, and the fact that you can field that many ships mitigates the risk of losing one before it shoots, owing to its low PS. When it comes to fielding ordnance, no other ship compares to the Z-95, not even the TIE Bomber.

 

4) Both of the named pilots are slightly more niche than your average Z-95, so they don't fit the same filler role as a Bandit or Tala Squadron Pilot. Blount is good when you absolutely have to get a missile off, and Cracken is quickly becoming one of my favorite Rebel pilots. At only 21 points - the same cost as a Rookie Pilot - you get a ship that can share both an action and PS8 at range 1. He is more fragile than your average X-Wing, which means you can't just throw him into any list and expect your opponent to ignore him. If you can find a way to protect him, however, that's still less than a quarter of your points well spent.


Edited by WonderWAAAGH, 11 July 2014 - 07:50 PM.

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#13 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:17 PM

I'm going to be out of line here and say I don't rate the Z95 at all. A poor movement dial (no sharp 1 turns or 5 straight forwards means it's slow and not very manoeuvrable), weak attack, weak evade and it's a carrier for ordinance that may well fail and which pushes up its cost to 15 points minimum but often a lot more than that. Go for a decent pilot skill and you can be spending nearly a quarter of your squad points on a 2 attack dice ship with an unreliable missile. Munitions Failsafe may help a bit but there's always the chance that you will just do 1 hit making it a waste or that your pilot skill is so low you will be dead before you get that second shot.
 
Not a useless ship, I can see how it could be fitted out with assault missiles to defeat TIE swarms but as an Imperial player I rarely fly a swarm anyway. Z95s just look like cannon fodder to me.
 
I realise that isn't the "received wisdom" and expect to be told I am wrong many times in many ways but that's just the way I see it.

If a ship needs a 1 turn or five straight to be good most ships in the game are awful.
The Z-95s dial is just fine. It has two hard turns, 3 banks, the 1 forward(also known as the best move in the game) and a reliable k-Turn. The 5 Forward is, for lack of a better word, meh. 1 Turns, while fantastic, are not necessary.
The Z-95 is a fantastic little ship, capable of a number of useful things. I'm not sure how it compares to a 15 point A-Wing, but if I had to guess it would be favorably. That 3 points allows for a lot of other tools on bigger more important ships.
2 Attack dice is bad on ships that cost a lot. On anything 16 points or less for the base model it's proven to be very good.

#14 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:17 PM

I realise that isn't the "received wisdom" and expect to be told I am wrong many times in many ways but that's just the way I see it.


Well, you are wrong in many ways. You don't seem overly receptive for a debate on the issue, so I'll just ask you, how comprehensive is your experience with this game?

18 months or so. Am happy to debate it as long as it's polite but it's 2 AM in the morning in the UK as I type. I may check back tomorrow.

...

BTW I am a 48 year old historical wargamer so I have no interest in tournaments or teenage tantrums such as seen in 40K etc, I'm not implying you would behave in that way for a moment but I've seen too many interesting topics descend into abuse, I can't be bothered with that.

 

Like my big green friend, I was also inclined to tell you you were wrong. Not so much because of any of the Z-95's deficiencies (I think it's rather cute), but because I thought you would appreciate a little forum persecution. Your last statement there seemed to suggest that you had some expectations, and I didn't want those to go unfulfilled.

 

So, you're wrong.

 

:P

 

  • "many ways"  - check
  • "many times" - check

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#15 WonderWAAAGH

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:42 PM

Alright, I think I'm finally finished editing my previous post.


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#16 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:49 PM

Yeah I put that bit because I have seen some nastiness online in my time on wargames forums. To be honest I don't have much interest in sci fi other than the Alien films and think Star Wars movies are good but nothing special, cutting edge in their day way back in 76/77 though to be fair. My late wife, God rest her, watched the Phantom Menace after we had visited the Mos Eisley film set on our honeymoon in Tunisia. She had never seen a Star Wars film before but got up after 20 minutes declaring the film to be "silly" and "boring". I wouldn't go that far but I don't  think of myself as a "fan boy", have no interest in the EU (I thought that meant European Union up until recently) and am not overly excited by the upcoming films though I will watch them when they come out. I just think X-Wing is a great game with nice models that look good. It's no headache wargaming with no painting involved. I really enjoy it.

 

Well, forums are the natural habitat of the nerdrager (or 'neckbeard' as our friend Captain Lackwit would put it).

 

We have a little bit of that over here, but I think it's relatively sedate.

 

Well, the Phantom Menace was a disappointment for most of us. But, I expect it was certainly no big feature in your life if you're not a sci-fi (or 'space opera' fan). Whatever floats your boat, man. I'm glad you enjoy the game, even if you don't dig it for the same reasons I do.

 

For me, real-world conflict - and, for that matter, the European Union - is just work, so I like the escape of Star Wars. That said, I like using real-world dynamics to flesh out my understanding of the Star Wars Universe in a playful way.

 

And yes, I think the Z-95 is cute. I may be told I'm wrong, but that's just the way I feel. :lol:



#17 JJFDVORAK

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:19 PM

To answer the original question, No, I do not think the Z-swarm will be the new swarm meta. While a decent ship and a cheap missile carrier, with only 2 evade dice it will die to focus fire faster than tie fighters with their 3 evade dice and evade action. Also with out a "Howlrunner-ish" ability the Z-swarm will never have the teeth of a tie swarm after their alpha missile strike. And don't even count on that missile strike as it can be hard to get the required TL needed to fire said missiles with low PS ships. And while, yes ,you can make a Z-swarm that can crush a Tie swarm with Assault missiles and all, that same list will not fair nearly as well against other popular lists as the traditional tie swarm will. Zs can be pretty good when part of a diverse Rebel force, but I doubt the Z-swarm will ever be the dominant swarm list that the Tie swarm has been and will most likely continue to be.

Edited by JJFDVORAK, 11 July 2014 - 08:22 PM.

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#18 Aminar

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:20 PM

No, we can keep this polite. You just make it sound like you've made up your mind and can't be budged on the issue. It behooves us all to keep an open mind when people hold an opinion that we don't understand. I'll try to address your main points one at a time:
 
1) The Z-95's dial is actually very average, slightly different from an X-Wing's, but no worse. Only three Rebel ships have a 1-hard maneuver (one of which is red, and another you're likely to pay over 42 points for), so that's not really a mark against the Z-95. Similarly, only two Rebel ships have a 5-straight. It does share a 3-K with both the A-Wing and YT. Again, the Z-95's dial is very average, but I count that as a good thing - especially since you're only paying 12 points for it.
 
2) The Z-95's attack is no more weak than your average TIE Fighter, and, according to the math-wingers, the Z-95 is alleged to be slightly more durable than the TIE while costing the same amount. I'm not sure a competent player would accuse the TIE Fighter of being mere "cannon fodder."
 
3) The Z-95 is far and away a better generic missile platform than the A-Wing. The A-Wing is overpriced enough as it is, without factoring in the cost of ordnance. Five ships loaded for bear makes for one heck of an alpha-strike, and the fact that you can field that many ships mitigates the risk of losing one before it shoots, owing to its low PS. When it comes to fielding ordnance, no other ship compares to the Z-95, not even the TIE Bomber.
 
4) Both of the named pilots are slightly more niche than your average Z-95, so they don't fit the same filler role as a Bandit or Tala Squadron Pilot. Blount is good when you absolutely have to get a missile off, and Cracken is quickly becoming one of my favorite Rebel pilots. At only 21 points - the same cost as a Rookie Pilot - you get a ship that can share both an action and PS8 at range 1. He is more fragile than your average X-Wing, which means you can't just throw him into any list and expect your opponent to ignore him. If you can find a way to protect him, however, that's still less than a quarter of your points well spent.

Too late here to get really into it as I really am going to bed now but a couple of points.
 
The TIE fighter specialises in one thing, evading, it rolls 3 green dice, I would argue the Z95 is mediocre at everything with 2 red dice and 2 green dice. Maths doesn't interest me, working out the odds of every dice outcome reduces a game to an exercise in probability in my view and that kills the fun for me even quicker than some of the tournament types I have met......(apparently my "Yarvin Squadron" was wrong because there's no R in Yarvin.....well there is if I say there is because none of it actually exists, it's all made up!)
 
Cheap ordnance carrier that's true, but what are you going to do if it misses or does one damage? You only carry one missile, there's no back up and now you really are stuffed with 2 red dice and 2 green dice. En masse some might get through but there's still the Imperial evade dice to get past, not to mention their evade tokens.
 
I haven't dealt with rebels fighting rebels here because, as I mentioned before, my interest in those games is zero, in fact if it could be less than zero it would be lol. 
 
Anyway to those of you across the pond, the Empire (British Empire?) bids you goodnight.
So what you're saying is, "I will ignore the statistical reality of the game in favor of my gut understanding and not allow any form of analysis to prove me wrong."
I understand not wanting to examine the math, but to say you'll ignore it when presented is misguided in the extreme. The Z-95s durability is not a matter up for question. It lives about as long as a Tie Fighter. The Tie Fighters strength is not in its evade dice. Evade dice are awful, unreliable nonsense. Both the Tie and Z are good because they deal good damage for their points, take a good amount of hits for their points, and in case you haven't noticed, perform well for their points. But if you don't want to hear the math I'll put it this way. Z-95s are roughly as good as Tie Fighters. Tie Fighters are the best single unit in the game. That makes Z-95s just about as good.
Also, I one shot Ties all the time. It's really easy to do. I have never shot a Z-95 or seen it happen. That's enormously important.
And lastly, compare to an X-Wing. -1 attack, -1 hull, slightly worse dial(3 K-turn is less reliable than 4) 9 points saved. That makes Z-95s a great deal.
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#19 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:27 PM

Anyway to those of you across the pond, the Empire (British Empire?) bids you goodnight.

 

Good night to you sir. Don't lose Scotland while you're sleeping.

(I'm on the Pacific coast of the US, so it's still light out.)

 

The TIE fighter specialises in one thing, evading, it rolls 3 green dice, I would argue the Z95 is mediocre at everything with 2 red dice and 2 green dice.

 

Yes, the Z-95 is mediocre. That's why it's 12 points. However, mediocrity is not the same as 'bad'.

Specialization is only as good as the context it's placed in.

 

To use an entirely removed example, the firms that persist through the centuries are those that are never at the top of the market, whereas the highly specialized firms that do what they do more efficiently than others, are usually the ones that flame out and die, once the market changes.

 

The Z-95, for its cost, is a versatile little ship.

 

Maths doesn't interest me, working out the odds of every dice outcome reduces a game to an exercise in probability in my view and that kills the fun for me even quicker than some of the tournament types I have met.

 

Well, that may be so, but it doesn't invalidate Mr. Green's point. This is a dice game; it runs on probability, which is calculable. Just because it's calculable, doesn't mean that the dice don't require a little magic now and then. ;)

 

Cheap ordnance carrier that's true, but what are you going to do if it misses or does one damage? You only carry one missile, there's no back up and now you really are stuffed with 2 red dice and 2 green dice. En masse some might get through but there's still the Imperial evade dice to get past, not to mention their evade tokens.

 

That's what munitions failsafe is for. It came with the Z-95. While I bought the Z-95 because (as I said) I think it's cute. I also play around with putting those failsafes on my TIE bombers.

 

I haven't dealt with rebels fighting rebels here because, as I mentioned before, my interest in those games is zero, in fact if it could be less than zero it would be lol.

 

Okay, now you're making my head hurt. You say you don't care about the lore of Star Wars, but now you're saying the lore of internecine conflict within the factions is too much for you. As someone who is interested in real-world conflict, I would think that conflict within insurgent movements would be quite plausible. Just look at the Syrian rebels, for instance. 


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#20 jpltanis

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

People tend to under-estimate the power of many ships against just a few.   

 

Just so you know, 4-12pt Ties can take down Hans' M.Falcon.  I have done it.  

 

8-Zs can be just as tough to deal with.   They are not as helpless as I've previous thought, especially if they are with numbers.






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