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Epic Strategy Thoughts


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#1 shmitty

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 04:11 PM

I've really been enjoying the Epic X-wing format.  In fact, since the Imdaar Alpha events, it's the only way that I have played.  Partially because I enjoy the new huge ships, partially as it's just fun to have more ships on the table, but also because I've enjoyed finding new strategies that are effective at the higher point totals.  I've seen a few posts on here asking for strategy suggestions for Epic so, I thought I would share what I've found.

 

Huge Ships

 

The huge ships are really fun to play and definitely have a learning curve to figure out how to make them effective.  In my first few Epic matches my opponents would simply ignore them as I hadn't figure out how to have a large enough impact on the game with them.  Now, they are often the first target.  I typically play the GR-75 between 40-50 points and the CR-90 at around 110 -120.  In either case they both bring strong resources to the table, but it's easy to waste them.

 

Regular ships have essentially 3 things they can do each turn: move, act, and then shoot.  (I know there are exceptions)  Huge ships are the same, but also have Energy to deal with.  Depending on how you play, energy can either be a resource or a limitation.  To get the most out of your huge ship you need to get the most out of each of these steps.

 

Movement

 

When I plot my movement dial, I always look first at my energy needs for the turn.  Then I look for a chance to ram or otherwise block up the table.  I've actually found I've killed as many ships with the rear of the ship while turning as I have from straight on rams.  You have 2 big advantages with moving your huge ship: you move last and you know where you are going.  Typically once my huge ship makes it close to my opponent they will have to start peeling off in a serious way for fear of being run over.  This gives me a huge advantage as they are no longer flying to setup shots, but instead to stay alive.  This gives the rest of your ships a huge advantage in the movement phase and you can often setup some great shots as your opponent will be horribly out of position.  Even if you never hit anything directly, the fear of ramming will bust up your opponents formation and give you an advantage, so drive right at them!

 

Energy

 

A big surprise for me when with the GR-75 and CR90 is that they have essentially the same amount of energy to play with.  Both can get up to 3 energy a turn from their dials and one more from an upgrade.  I was sure the CR90 would have more available, but it doesn't.  Using your energy well is key to Huge ships, so I always take the Engineering team on a CR-90 and almost always take the Quantum Storm title on the GR-75.  Both give you a very significant boost in your Huge ships' ability to impact the game.

 

Some turns your whole energy output may go to recharging your shields, but otherwise you will want to spend it wisely.  I build my ships to be able to spend 4 energy a turn, every turn.  Again, I'm trying to maximize their impact on the game.

 

For the GR-75 that means handing out bonuses like candy.  Comms Booster and Targeting Coordinator can be a great way to turn energy into higher effectiveness for the rest of your ships.  Comms booster would be worthwhile if it only took away stress or handed out focus, but at both it is a no-brainer.  I typically bring 2 Comms Boosters.  Targeting Coordinator is great for setting up Assault Missiles or other ordnance as you know that your target will have moved when you go to use it.  It let's you get that target lock after you've seen how the whole board is set.  A Shield Projector can be very effective, especially with the Bright Hope title, but the 3 energy cost means you are spending most of your energy budget on just one effect.  I've also found Backup Shield Generators to be very useful as they allow me to regain shields without burning an action.

 

For the CR-90 most of your energy will go towards firing secondary weapons.  I favor Quad Lasers over Single Turbolasers for a few reasons.  Fewer points, less energy to shoot, and they fit my style of using the huge ship as a formation breaker.  I could see a build using Turbolasers that favored sitting back and taking long-range shots, but I haven't tried it yet.  The biggest problem facing the CR-90 is that most of its attacks end up being straight die rolls.  A Weapons Engineer will allow 2 of them to get re-rolls and I almost always play one.  The Gunnery Team seems interesting, but I would almost always rather have another attack than change a single result from a focus to a hit.  Given more energy they would be great, but on a tight energy budget I'd rather spend it elsewhere.  Etahn Abaht can make the CR-90's shots hurt more, a Tactician is almost a no-brainer if you have more than 1 Quad Laser Cannon, and Roark Garnet may be the CR-90's best friend in the world.  A bunch of un-boosted shots may not be that great, but at PS 12 you get to shoot first in a serious way.

 

Actions

 

Actions can be a total trap with the huge ships.  In one game against a GR-75 my opponent had Toryn Farr, a WED droid, and Slicer Tools on the same ship.  Which meant 7 action choices, but only one action to take.  It is nice that you can't really lose your action in a Huge ship, but you also can't gain any more either.  So, you need to be careful on adding upgrades that need an action to use.  There is a massive opportunity cost as the the actions that are built into both ships are already very good.  The above mentioned Toryn Farr, WED droid, and Slicer Tools cost both an action AND your energy!  Which means you are also giving up other energy related effects that you could be using.  They can all be effective, just make sure you realize the full cost of those upgrades.

 

Of the built in actions Reinforce is amazing and generally my default choice.  Reinforce is the reason that a GR-75 takes more firepower to kill than a Falcon.  Recover is nice, but a turn spent recovering shields is a turn that your ship is not doing much else.  I'm a big fan of using Tibanna Gas Stores right before a Recover action so I can load up my guns or Comm Boost before recovering my shields.  Coordinate is really nice based on timing.  Because everyone is done moving when the Huge ship takes its action, Coordinate can be used really effectively with ships that can Barrel Roll or Boost.  Especially when you earlier removed their stress with a Comms Booster!  Jam is pretty cool as well and a great deterrent to Interceptors or Phantoms, although I find it is the action that I use the least.

 

Other Huge Ship Thoughts

 

Although he is a little expensive, Raymus Antilles is a lot of fun.  He uses neither energy or actions and allows you another way to let your Huge ship impact the game.

 

I can't stress enough how awesome Comms Booster is.  When plotting my dials I often plan out how much Stress I will take with K-Turns, etc knowing that the Comms Booster will be there to cleanup the mess.

 

I feel like all 3 of the GR-75 titles can be useful, but that the CR-90 titles are pretty lackluster.  Dodonna's Pride has promise, but then you are giving up your Target Locks.

 

I've played a game with 2 CR-90's against each other and it was really fun.  One flew with the Imperials and worked out great.  If I was running an Epic tournament I would allow Imperial players to field them although I expect the Imps will be getting theirs announced at GenCon.

 

I haven't fielded multiple Huge ships yet.  I don't think it works in a regular Epic game as the GR-75 doesn't support the CR-90 very well and 2 GR-75s will cost you too much firepower.

 

Other Epic Thoughts

 

Bring Assault Missiles.  

 

PS is more important than in 100 point games.  There is so much firepower that low PS ships die before ever shooting.

 

Having multiple ships at the same PS makes maneuvering in crowded spaces much easier.

 

There is more space, but don't spread out.  The hardest part of learning to play Epic is figuring how to keep your force together enough to concentrate firepower without being vulnerable to getting run over or blasted apart by missiles.  Huge ships need space to maneuver, but need to be close to the action to have their best impact.

 

I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments you may have?  What have you seen that works or doesn't work?


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#2 overdesigned

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:03 PM

I completely agree with you that PS is a huge factor.  I went out with 4x Bandit Z-95s with Assault Missles and only one of them ever got a missile off, the rest got evaporated before they had a chance.


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#3 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:08 PM

Despite owning it for a month, last night was the first time I tried out my GR-75 in a solo game.

 

Wow - it was a lot of fun. Jamming was great against the bombers my glorious Imperial self sent against my insurgent-terrorist-scum self. They had a hard time taking target locks and focus tokens in order to make their missiles work. Also, once they were stressed, the Slicer Tools went to work on them.

 

I don't have any tips/tricks to mention, because - as I said - it was my first time taking it out for a spin. But I'm enjoying it!

 

Edit: as I was building the ship in my squad builder app, the app was allowing me to add modifications like 'Engine Upgrade'. That can't be right, can it?


Edited by Mikael Hasselstein, 17 July 2014 - 05:09 PM.


#4 cody campbell

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:29 PM

I believe you only take "huge ship only" mods.
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#5 Krynn007

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:56 PM

I haven't played many games with my vette and Transport.
I've been trying to keep my upgrades minimal on the transport as I find it always goes down fast.

How many points are yas playing with, and how do you start your set up?
That's probably what I need to work on the most.

Usually my vette Is on the outside to the left of my small ships going straight.
Small ships to the right of vette, and transport to the right of my small ships,
My opponent usually comes from the transport side and even with reinforced it goes down fast.

Tips on starting set up would be nice.
We usually play 300 pts, unless it's a team game then it's 400
Rebels4 xwing, 2 awings, 2 bwings,1 ywing, 1 Falcon, 1hwk, 1 ewing, 2 z95, 1 transport, 1 Tantive,
Imperials
6 tie/ft, 2 squints, 1 aces, 4 bombers, 1 tie adv, 1 shuttle, 2 Firespray, 2 phantom, 1 tie defender

#6 DagobahDave

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:17 PM

I believe you only take "huge ship only" mods.

 

Yep. See "Modifications" on page 5 of the Transport rules.


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#7 shmitty

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:37 PM

.

Usually my vette Is on the outside to the left of my small ships going straight.
Small ships to the right of vette, and transport to the right of my small ships,
My opponent usually comes from the transport side and even with reinforced it goes down fast.
Tips on starting set up would be nice.
We usually play 300 pts, unless it's a team game then it's 400


Are you playing both a corvette and a transport? I would stick with just one or the other. Here are 2 of my favorite huge ship configurations:

GR-75
2x Comms Booster
Targeting Coordinator
Quantum Storm
Backup Shield Generator

Which is 49 points of awesome support.

CR-90
2x Quad Laser Cannons
Engineering Team
Weapons Engineer
Tactician
Comms Booster
Tibanna Gas

119 points for a strong fire base.

Both of those are actually pretty expensive, but very effective on the table.

For setup, I usually start about 1/3 of the way in and angle towards the middle. I try to then deploy my small ships in a group either centrally with a transport or outside of a corvette. From there I maneuver the group closer to the enemy more slowly so that my ships make contact all at once. Don't spread out if you can help it. If you are losing your transport right off the bat it is probably because it is unsupported. Make sure that all of your ships hit firing range at the same time. That way if your opponent does concentrate on the transport, then the rest of your ships can shoot back without getting hurt.

#8 Lord Cespret

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:17 AM

GR-75 Build (51 points)
- GR-75 Medium Transport (30)
- Quantum Storm Title 4 (34)
- Backup Shield Generator 3 (37)
- Comms Booster 4 (41)
- Shield Projector 4 (45)
- Toryn Farr 6 (51)

CR90 Build (131 points)
- CR90 Fore (50)
- Dodonna's Pride Title 4 (54)
- Backup Shield Generator 3 (57)
- Engineering Team 4 (61)
- Quad Laser Cannons 6 (67)
- Jan Dodonna 6 (73)
- CR90 Aft 40 (113)
- Tibanna Gas Supplies 4 (117)
- Sensor Team 4 (121)
- Quad Laser Cannons 6 (127)
- Targeting Coordinator 4 (131)

Playing with both huge ships set up like this, coming in at 182 points leaves you just enough room to escort them with two each of the X wing Red Squadron Pilot, B wing Dagger Squadron Pilot, and Z-95 Bandit Squadron Pilot at 300 points.

Edited by Lord Cespret, 18 July 2014 - 01:18 AM.

ALLIANCE: 6 X / 3 Y / 3 A / 3 B / 3 E / 3 Z-95 / 3 HWK-290 / 2 YT-1300 / 1 GR-75 / 1 CR90
EMPIRE: 8 TIE F / 2 TIE A / 8 TIE I (3x IA) / 3 TIE B / 3 TIE D / 3 TIE P / 2 Lambda / 2 Firespray-31

#9 Mikael Hasselstein

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:48 AM

I believe you only take "huge ship only" mods.

 

Yep. See "Modifications" on page 5 of the Transport rules.

 

Ah, I see it!

Someone should tell the people who make the app.

 

Hmmm, maybe I should be that person.

 

...

 

Okay, done.


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#10 Scabiosus

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 03:56 AM

I always equip my CR90 with the Han Solo crew card. It gives a lot of flexibility to target locks.


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#11 shmitty

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

I can see the value of Han, but I really prefer having a Tactician and Weapons Engineer.

#12 UnfairBanana

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:41 AM

Ionization reactor is fantastic. Nothing better than popping that when enemy ships are directly in front of you and you still have lotsa shields.

Man, is that satisfying.


Rebels: 3 A-wings, 3 B-wings, 2 E-wing, 4 X-Wings, 2 Y- Wings, 2 Z-95s, 1 HWK-290, 1 YT-1300, 1 GR-75 Space whale, 1 CR-90 Corvette

 

Empire: 6 TIE/LN, 4 TIE Interceptors, 2 TIE Bombers, 1 TIE Advanced, 2 TIE Defender, 2 TIE Phantom, 2 Firesprays, 1 Lambda


#13 Corellian Corvette

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:29 AM

Thank you so much for the write up.

I believe in two transport builds, one that buffs your team, and one that jams theirs.
So far, having the aoe jam is really nice, same with the title that stretches the range to three.

Shield generator seems to be essential on all craft, regeneration really shuts you down.

A-wings, 2 E-Wings, 6 X-wings, 2 Y-wings, 1 B-wing, 1 Z-95, 1 HWK-290, 1 YT-1300, 1 GR-75, 1 CR90

 

Empire: 3 Ties {o{} Zooom!

Plan to buy: Rebel Aces, 2x YT-2400, 1x YT-1300





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