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Z-Swarm the new swarm meta?


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#81 Volund Starfire

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

Etahn A'baht/E-Wing (32)

4×Bandit Squadron Pilot/Z-95 Headhunter+Concussion Missiles+Munitions Failsafe (17 each)
 
Etahn lets each of the Bandits change a hit into a crit.  That is almost as good as Howlrunner's ability and is a little worse for potential Imperial non-shielded ships.


#82 Deadshane

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:50 PM

I know it doesn't mean much, but tonight in a game

 

4xBandit

4xTala

 

VS

 

4xBlue w/Adv Sens

 

....just a rough and quick game to see what would happen.

 

Z-95's smoked....SMOKED the B-Wings....like cheap cigars.

 

 

On a personal note, I could be wrong (im hardly the expert with Z-Swarms...but I'm interested), but the 1 forward makes extending the joust just a 'little' bit easier than straight jousting with the ties...who are sort of forced into speed and maneuvering around the scrum.

 

Z's might be able to get a little more out of a straight on offensive joust.  Taking them on that way is probably a really bad idea.

 

You can try to outflank them and maneuver around them to get around jousting, but you're trying to outmaneuver an X-Wing. (which isnt super easy for B's, or any ship really for that matter)

 

Z's get a lot out of a pinwheel formation.

 

Quantity Vs Quality.  I might be hooked.


Edited by Deadshane, 14 July 2014 - 09:58 PM.

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#83 MajorJuggler

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:53 PM

2 attack dice want to be attacking low agility targets like B-wings. Against TIEs they won't do quite as well - but they should still be on par with B-wings in terms of overall point efficiency even then.

#84 jpltanis

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:21 PM

There has been many reports on the effectiveness of the Z-swarms.   People who can fly them well will be pleasantly surprised. 

 

Those who takes them lightly will be wondering - what just happened???  (As the Zs tear their squad apart.)

 

If you are a chess player - think of it as trading your pawns for their knights, bishops, & queens. 


Edited by jpltanis, 14 July 2014 - 10:28 PM.


#85 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:37 PM

There has been many reports on the effectiveness of the Z-swarms.   People who can fly them well will be pleasantly surprised. 
 
Those who takes them lightly will be wondering - what just happened???  (As the Zs tear their squad apart.)
 
If you are a chess player - think of it as trading your pawns for their knights, bishops, & queens.


Again, it's not a matter of taking them lightly or not. It's that you're extrapolating from 3x naked Z-95s against 3x naked TIE Fighters to 8 vs 8 of each, which is potentially problematic from the start; then you jump from the effectiveness of 8 naked TIE Fighters to the effectiveness of a more typical TIE swarm; you jump from there to an assertion that Z-95s are superior to TIEs and will replace them as the "new swarm meta".

None of it makes any sense.

Edited by Vorpal Sword, 14 July 2014 - 10:38 PM.


#86 jpltanis

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:02 PM

You need not take my word.  You will see the results from battle reports soon enough.   Don't blame me when your squad is humbled by the Zs in future tournys.  

 

No one is claiming that they are unbeatable or that they to be flown naked.   All I am claiming is that they are tougher than one might think.



#87 ScottieATF

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:37 PM

You have a very poor way of actually showcasing your evidence. You keep wreaking your position by over stating it on the basis of very suspect evidence. What you are attempting to say may or may not have some truth to it, but the backing you give it certainly isn't the reason it will have truth to it.

Or do you not understand how a 3 on 3 game is worthless evidence on the subject? Or how an 8 on 8 match, which isn't how either vessel would be actually utilized, is frankly a bull **** example?

Your premise isn't the overall issue. It's how you support it. Which is to say you don't with your examples.
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#88 Marinealver

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:14 AM

Wave 4 has drastically changed the meta with a cheap ship option for the Rebels and Shielded Ships for the Imperials. But Tie fighters are still the ultimate economic ship. Upgrading a Tie Fighter to shoot before a Bandit is still cheaper than giving a Bandit a missile.


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#89 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:10 AM

You need not take my word.  You will see the results from battle reports soon enough.   Don't blame me when your squad is humbled by the Zs in future tournys.


I have a pretty good idea already what the Headhunter's strengths and limitations are, thanks.

No one is claiming that they are unbeatable or that they to be flown naked.   All I am claiming is that they are tougher than one might think.


Sorry I seem to be misunderstanding your point, then. But you might want to have a conversation with this person, because he or she seems to have the same impression I do:

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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#90 That One Guy

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:24 AM

I'm not really sure if this is a good sample, but every match my friend has flown an Headhunters against me they've been ripped to pieces very easily. Seeing them, even the more impressive ones like Blount or Cracken, hasn't scared me at all. Lacking that 1 extra evade or 1 extra hitpoint really seems to make the difference on a 4 HP ship.



#91 Lagomorphia

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:52 AM

Flying a swarm squad well, takes special skills.  Not everyone can do it (avoid bumping into each other, deny opponent's action while flanking it w/ others & firing on it at range one.)   It takes lots of practice.

 

No squad is unbeatable (that is what makes X-Wing such a great game), but one can't deny that swarm squads have the highest winning % in combine stats of tourny played since 2012 (swarms has 40%+).    

 

Believe it or not - someone on the board has combined all the results from all the reported tourny played worldwide and their squad types and reported the winning %  of each meta. 

 

What does that prove though? Only the Wave 4 results matter unless you're playing without the Wave 4 ships. Wave 4 is X-wing's Lunar Cycle: it's meant to kill off the superiority of the low PS rebel squads and the Howlrunner TIE swarms. FFG's designers aren't fools and they had three prior waves of experience: they're not going to design an even better swarm. Against a proper Wave 3 or Wave 2 TIE swarm your horde of Z-95s will likely not do nearly as well, against a Wave 4 TIE swarm that's accounted for the antiswarm additions even less so.
 

I can see the naked Z-swarm being more formidable than the 8-Tie Academy swarm.

Eight Academy pilots isn't a thing though. You're kitting yourself out to take on a squad that people don't actually play. TIE swarms may be mostly low PS TIEs (Obsidians or Academies) but they have powerful support abilities thrown into the mix too.

 

Now, for the sake of argument, let's assume you're right and your Z-95 swarm will shred every possible permutation of a TIE swarm it comes across (rather than the practically non-existent Academy Eight which I'll admit 8 Z-95s stand a fair chance against). You've beaten one type of squad, and a squad that FFG have put in so many counters for its numbers are going to drop like butterflies in a chlorine cloud.

 

Now you've got to take on the elite YT-1300 squads, the four-ship heavy rebels, the Space Cow Brigades, the multi-Firespray teams, the swarm-killing ACD Phantom + Support squads, the original you never see coming. Tournaments have a lot more than TIE swarms: if you're going in believing you've found the new big thing without thinking how you'll deal with these you're in for a crushing disappointment.



#92 oddeye

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

 

 

Well I haven't played enough with the Z95 to know which one's "better", but I suspect I'll end up still preferring the Tie Fighter as the more fun ship to play.
 
I must say, there are some people here who seem to be asserting that because the die-maths apparently make the two ships about equal that they therefore are about equal.  I say not so - the dial and the actions (barrel roll vs target lock for example) make a huge difference, and I haven't seen any maths that says "on average you'll use a barrel roll or a speed one turn to get out of an arc roughly x times out of y".

Barrel Roll, evade, and the dial differences just about make up for the fact the Z-95 is a whole lot less likely to be one shotted, and far less vulnerable to critical hits. Ties are great ships, but they are still really easy to blow up in one shot. Against a 4 dice attack(the first reasonably probable one shot location for a Z-95 a Tie fighter is getting one shotted 10% of the time with focus, while a Z95 is getting one shotted 4% of the time. Take away the focuses and the Z-95 is at 11% while the Tie has a 30% chance of getting one shotted.

 

That's where I don't quite follow you - if you've barrel rolled out of arc then there is no maths involved.

 

Ha.. if you are barrel rolling out of 8 95's firing arcs your opponent is "doing it wrong" and not flying his 95's very well. One of the great strengths of the swarm is taking away your opponents ability to maneuver with your large amount of firing arcs.


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#93 MajorJuggler

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

Eight Academy pilots isn't a thing though. You're kitting yourself out to take on a squad that people don't actually play. TIE swarms may be mostly low PS TIEs (Obsidians or Academies) but they have powerful support abilities thrown into the mix too.

 

The French National was just won by 4x Academy Pilots + 4 Obsidian Squadron Pilots. Wave 4 was legal.


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#94 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

Eight Academy pilots isn't a thing though. You're kitting yourself out to take on a squad that people don't actually play. TIE swarms may be mostly low PS TIEs (Obsidians or Academies) but they have powerful support abilities thrown into the mix too.

 
The French National was just won by 4x Academy Pilots + 4 Obsidian Squadron Pilots. Wave 4 was legal.


There's also at least one really good UK player (Keith Wilson) who reportedly ran 8 naked TIEs at least into Wave 3, and typically mopped the floor with his opponents. That doesn't mean it's a good squad in the general case.

Or, to put it another way, I've had 4x Bandits and 4x Talas on the table (with proxies, obviously, because I'm not Mitt Romney). It's not a terrible list, like 8 TIEs isn't a terrible list, and it wona fair number of games--but things that just tore it up included TIE swarms with 6 and 7 ships, double Falcons, and a smaller Z-swarm equipped with missiles.

Point-for-point the Z-95 has a PS advantage over the TIE Fighter, as well as a shade of extra durability in the generalized case (which of course you know). But out in the wild, it has a very different set of matchups than the TIE Fighter does, and there are lots of ways to get around it or even take advantage of its lower Agility.

#95 Lagomorphia

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:08 AM

 

Eight Academy pilots isn't a thing though. You're kitting yourself out to take on a squad that people don't actually play. TIE swarms may be mostly low PS TIEs (Obsidians or Academies) but they have powerful support abilities thrown into the mix too.

 

The French National was just won by 4x Academy Pilots + 4 Obsidian Squadron Pilots. Wave 4 was legal.

 

 

That's not eight academy pilots, those Obsidians give it the drop on PS2. Close enough though.

 

What was it up against and how was it flown?


Edited by Lagomorphia, 15 July 2014 - 09:09 AM.


#96 VanorDM

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:12 AM

That's not eight academy pilots, those Obsidians give it the drop on PS2.


If I were to build a 8 naked Z swarm, I'd do the same thing, 4 Bandit and 4 Tala, that means you still win the PS fight.

#97 Lagomorphia

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

That'd be good against eight naked TIEs played badly but that doesn't make 8 Z-95s the "new swarm" the OP's claiming is headed for dominance.


Edited by Lagomorphia, 15 July 2014 - 09:24 AM.


#98 jpltanis

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

 

There has been many reports on the effectiveness of the Z-swarms.   People who can fly them well will be pleasantly surprised. 
 
Those who takes them lightly will be wondering - what just happened???  (As the Zs tear their squad apart.)
 
If you are a chess player - think of it as trading your pawns for their knights, bishops, & queens.


Again, it's not a matter of taking them lightly or not. It's that you're extrapolating from 3x naked Z-95s against 3x naked TIE Fighters to 8 vs 8 of each, which is potentially problematic from the start; then you jump from the effectiveness of 8 naked TIE Fighters to the effectiveness of a more typical TIE swarm; you jump from there to an assertion that Z-95s are superior to TIEs and will replace them as the "new swarm meta".

None of it makes any sense.

 

 

You are right to criticized me, if my enthusiasm was based solely on my observation on the 3 ships AI experiment.

 

Let me break it down a bit for you:

 

I started, as I suspect like most of you - I thought that the Z-95 as a filler ship & if 1 vs 1 against a Tie, the Tie will win by it superior agility abilities. This turned out not to be the case.

 

Next, I tried the 3 vs 3 experiment (which I reported). I was surprised how easily the Zs handled the Ties. So I posed this thread to see if others have come across similar things. Mind you, I merely made an inquiry. Now "IF" others have similar successes, won't it make the Z-swarm a better swarm meta to prepare for?

 

If you carefully followed this threads, others reported that the Zs has been performing well in their tourneys. In the battle report forum - there are also reports of Zs surprising wins.

 

Next, I did some research on the winning % of different ship metas and discovered the the Tie swarm has the highest winning percentage at around low 40%.

 

So if you couple all these together, The Zs gives you a ship that is better than the Tie. It can withstand "crits" (due to its shields), come at you with numbers (like Ties), and able to strike you with various type of missiles. I suspect that they will do just as well as the Tie Swarm in winning percentages.

 

So if you are going to a tourney without preparing to face a variation of them. You might be at a disadvantage. With that said, I won't say any more of the beauty of the Z swarm, because I might just be playing against some of you in official tourney.

 

:)


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#99 MajorJuggler

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

 

 

Eight Academy pilots isn't a thing though. You're kitting yourself out to take on a squad that people don't actually play. TIE swarms may be mostly low PS TIEs (Obsidians or Academies) but they have powerful support abilities thrown into the mix too.

 

The French National was just won by 4x Academy Pilots + 4 Obsidian Squadron Pilots. Wave 4 was legal.

 

 

That's not eight academy pilots, those Obsidians give it the drop on PS2. Close enough though.

 

What was it up against and how was it flown?

 

 

I just started the 2014 Nationals thread which has what info we have so far here:

 

http://community.fan...ults/?p=1156542



#100 VanorDM

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:55 AM

That'd be good against eight naked TIEs played badly


Anytime someone says something like this, it seems to assume that anything one side can do, isn't something the other side is just as capable of.

You put 8 Ties vs 8 Z's and it will largely come down to the same thing that 8 Ties vs 8 ties does, who is the better pilot. I don't think the Z is vastly superior to the Tie, but it's close enough that it's largely going to come down to the player.

but that doesn't make 8 Z-95s the "new swarm" the OP's claiming is headed for dominance.


No, and I don't think 8 naked Z's is an option, just like 8 AP ties isn't really much of an option. I was just pointing out that the Z's can pretty much always win the PS war, because for the same price they're 1 PS better then Ties.

The one thing that the Z-95 does is make it harder to run a good Howlrunner swarm. If you keep your ships in tight enough formation to make Howl effective you're just begging for an assault missile strike. But if you spread them out enough to avoid the AoE and Howl becomes a lot less useful.

Lt. Blount by himself does a fairly good job of that. Howl at range 3 with Stealth Device? Sure you may not hit her, but you still remove the SD and do a point of damage to everything around her.
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