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General Strategy for Opening Moves and Early Game Discussion


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#1 jasonkw

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:52 AM

Recently I've been trying some different set ups along with some different opening maneuvers. I'm trying to figure out what types of opening maneuvers work the best. 

 

I'm absolutely certain that this is something that depends heavily on what list you're running, what your opponent is running, and how the board is set up. Still, what general strategies do you use in your opening moves? What have you found to be successful?

 

Here are some of the questions I've been considering about opening maneuvers. Feel free to share your thoughts on them specifically or share anything else you have to say on the subject of the early game.

 

  • Is it ever effective to split forces to different corners of the board?
  • If you're going to split your force, is it better start off with your force separated or to start them together and separate on the first move?
  • It generally seems like a bad idea to just rush at your opponent head on. Is there ever a case where this might be a good tactic?
  • I really enjoyed this analysis of getting in range for early secondary weapon attacks. Could this be used to try and K-turn behind enemies or drop bombs more effectively?

What are your thoughts and suggestions on setup, opening maneuvers, and early game strategy?


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Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#2 Khyros

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

I personally like to setup my superior quality rebel main force in the middle and turtle straight forward, drawing the enemy into the asteroid field as much as possible.  Meanwhile my A wing is zipping along outside and getting behind them.  

Every now and then, if I think I can succeed, bullrush my main force towards his flank, especially if it's an interceptor, hoping to catch him off guard, and kill it before his main force can catch up.  But this hasn't been working recently since I'm running more B wings instead of X wings, so they're not quite fast enough to catch it before it can go "oh S8stser and regroup with his main force."

 

If I have advS B wings, I like to actually line up hiding behind an asteroid, hiding behind it and then BR before my maneuver to clear it.

 

 

The way I see it, regardless of where we set up, both players are going to orientate their main force to meet the opponent head on, so whether I do some fancy flying to accomplish that or not doesn't really make a difference, the first pass is going to largely be head to head.  If I can force it such that he is on my right, but there's an asteroid between us, then he's forced to kinda turn away from me after the first engagement, while I can spin around the 'roid and give chase.  B wings are better at doing that since they can change their position via BR, causing the opponent to have to bank/go straight when he was planning on straight/bank, putting him in a bad position.


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#3 jasonkw

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:28 AM

Good point about trying to head your opponent into the asteroids. I always assume the will just go around them, but if you can figure out a way to make them want to rush towards them then you increase their chances of hitting them or at least limit their maneuver options going around them.


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#4 DraconPyrothayan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:06 AM

For my Swarm, I practice my Rollouts (i.e. Placement through first combat) moreso than I do any other part of the game.

 

Cardcounting (well, distance-counting) is definitely an aspect to use for higher play, but remember how to incorporate Barrel Rolls, Banks, and other 1/2 ship moves into your equations.
Also remember that the numbers change depending on where in the starting area you place your ships.
Figure out the math for Corner to Corner combat, rather than a vertical joust, and you'll be a rockstar.


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#5 The_Brown_Bomber

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:18 AM

this is a good topic. setup is something iv learned is more imp than many players think. it starts with asteroid placement and will depend on:

1) what ships u r playing

2) what ships they r playing

3) what the strengths of ur squad are

4) what the weakness of ur squad are

  • i find that its useful to have a at least two different standard placements for ur ships that u use every game.
  • splitting ur squad can be a good idea if ur ships dont rely too much on synergy such as action giving (squad leader type abilities or swarm for example)
  • having 2 or even a single flanker can cause confusion and give ur opponent something to worry about - this roll is best suited to an A-Wing, tie-fighter or tie-intercepter because they r fast.
  • i try to imagine where i want the battle to take place and what turn i want that to happen then position y ships accordingly.
  • im always thinking how i can use asteroids to my advantage - eg. breaking up their formation by chasing my ships or using them as soft/hard cover for extra defense or a deterrent from them flanking my own ships. The Lambda shuttle is a good example of this... its slow movement can be a good thing if its in an asteroid field and they enemy is wanting to flank it.

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#6 jasonkw

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:47 AM

 

  • i find that its useful to have a at least two different standard placements for ur ships that u use every game.
  • splitting ur squad can be a good idea if ur ships dont rely too much on synergy such as action giving (squad leader type abilities or swarm for example)
  • having 2 or even a single flanker can cause confusion and give ur opponent something to worry about - this roll is best suited to an A-Wing, tie-fighter or tie-intercepter because they r fast.

 

These are all things I've found very effective.


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#7 DraconPyrothayan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:08 PM

When placing asteroids, first I figure out who benefits more from a tight/empty asteroid field.

 

I also look to see how I can place the asteroids in a way to disrupt their start, while leaving me a good lane to fly into to fight them.


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#8 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:36 PM

This is where the PS bidding war conversation comes up.  PS matters a lot more on the placement stage and the engagement round than anywhere else.  The how and when differ from game to game and opponent to opponent but the PS of a given squad won't change (well there are those 2 crits) and must be considered during squad building.

 

GENERAL SETUP TIPS:

Give yourself a tich more space than you really need.  Nothing sucks worse than your formation being blown on round 2-3 because you were too close when calculating banks on set up.  Seldom will taking a little extra room lead to a bump, but setting up too close will most games.

 

Using the range ruler's width is a great way to make sure all your spaces between ships are the same.  Play with it first to figure out how it interacts with banks/turns but it keeps it all very clean.

 

If you don't have barrelroll/boost, never (well, almost never.  I hate never statements) set up behind an asteroid on your side.  Your opponent then gets to choose which way you go if you want a shot.

 

 

IMPERIAL SET UP TIPS:

Just because you can zoom 4-5, doesn't mean you have to.  Your turn 1's + barrelrolls can be "zero" moves for 1-2 rounds if your opponent surprises you or you just don't know what his squad will do (see Dark Curse in Worlds Final match).

 

 

1st turn banks and Barrelrolls are your friend, 2nd turn banks too.  All lead you to coming in at angles rather than head on.  Unless there's a big ship with engine upgrade and you're choosing 3+ forwards you won't need that focus/evade token round 1.  Angled engagement means your turns are turns and not Koiograns and with barrelroll/boost your banks can make the turn for you.  Sure you still have no action but you used it for better position instead of better dice, and now you're not stressed.  Remember that the Kturn is the death of the interceptor and tie, use them very sparingly.

 

The swarm is just as effective when it comes together engagement round as it is when flown together to engagement round.  Howlrunner at range 1 only matters if you're already shooting.  

 

REBEL SETUP TIPS:

Keep your slow ships up front.  Much like the 1/2 turn and barrelroll back on the imperial side, the first turn bump into the back of a slow ship keeps you back.

 

Remember PS.  You don't have the extra mobility to reposition post round 1-2 that the imperials enjoy.

 

The Triangle formation is your friend.


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#9 KineticOperator

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:45 PM

I will limit my response to a very general, but nevertheless fundamental point.

 

When two groups of ships are faciing/shooting at one another, the group INSIDE the asteroid field has an enormous advantage.

 

To demonstrate this, set up your asteroids in the middle of the table like normal.  Now, set up a few ships inside the asteroids in formation like you would find in a game, but near the edge and firing out.  Set up the other group of ships in the clear area facing them.

 

Now, the shooting phase will resolve and both sides are pretty much even.  Asteroids interfere with shooting in both directions, so there is no clear advantage to be gained by either side.  However, when you move to the next turn you will see that the ships coming OUT of the asteroid field have a large number of movement options.  They can turn to either side, fly past, or K-Turn without running over asteroids / landing on asteroids.  The group flying INTO the asteroid field is hampered by half a dozen rocks in his way, significantly reducing his options.

 

I always, always try to engage ships in the open as I come out of the asteroids.  If you lack asteroids (because they are concentrated on another part of the table), flying IN towards the table center while your opponent flies OUT towards the edge is also an advantage (though smaller).  When setting up asteroids at the beginning of the game, try to set them so that the shooting starts while you are IN the rocks, but your next move takes you out of them.


Edited by KineticOperator, 20 February 2014 - 01:46 PM.

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#10 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:49 PM

Watching a lot of the worlds videos again... the person who successfully entered and exited the asteroids won every game that I saw.  The player shooting and then entering lost every time.


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#11 jasonkw

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

Watching a lot of the worlds videos again... the person who successfully entered and exited the asteroids won every game that I saw.  The player shooting and then entering lost every time.

 

I was thinking that same thing as I was reading Kenetic's response. I'm always a little loathe to enter the asteroids first because I feel it limits me to predictable lanes, but I can see the benefits.


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#12 Parakitor

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:03 PM

Watching a lot of the worlds videos again... the person who successfully entered and exited the asteroids won every game that I saw.  The player shooting and then entering lost every time.

I may have to look over my Vassal HiLo log files because the one game I won was when we exchanged fire as my opponent entered the asteroid field. I'll have to check, but I am pretty sure the ones I lost were because I was the one heading towards the asteroids at first contact.


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#13 jasonkw

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:07 PM

 

Watching a lot of the worlds videos again... the person who successfully entered and exited the asteroids won every game that I saw.  The player shooting and then entering lost every time.

I may have to look over my Vassal HiLo log files because the one game I won was when we exchanged fire as my opponent entered the asteroid field. I'll have to check, but I am pretty sure the ones I lost were because I was the one heading towards the asteroids at first contact.

 

 

Let us know what you find as you take a look. It's an interesting concept that I've never really considered before.

 

And now that I think back to my last few matches I think I can see a similar pattern. Or course that excludes games where my opponent entered the asteroids first with poor moves and ended up on lots of asteroids (or when it was me hitting the asteroids).


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#14 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:15 PM

It's definitely a thing.  Especially if you multiply the problem with superior maneuverability.  Imperials probably have the maneuverability to overcome an asteroid field but lose actions for doing so, Rebels probably lose a round of fire here and there due to it.  As an imperial player you definitely want to be first in, loads of opportunity vs. a rebel player, even Bwings, if you plan for it. 


Edited by Rakky Wistol, 20 February 2014 - 05:15 PM.

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#15 Ravncat

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:19 PM

Think about it this way, if you're entering asteroids on turn 2, you probably set the line on turn 1 or 2, where using positional actions or friendly collision maneuvers don't eat actions needed for combat, as you're probably not in combat (or heavy combat) so early. You also have numbers in the beginning, so losing 1/x ships actions is less detrimental than 1/(x-y) actions. [x ships starting, y ships lost]
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#16 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:25 PM

Yep, use those first turn actions on something that you almost can't possibly need!  Don't be static in your approach or you'll get torched. 


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#17 Parakitor

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:47 PM

"You're not actually going into an asteroid field?!"

"Listen, Sweetheart, when I come out on the other side we'll have a killer advantage on these TIEs."

 

So in one of my losses there really wasn't an asteroid field involved. There was a single asteroid that we flew around, but what really messed me up were 1) Assault Missiles and 2) he moved first, preventing a lot of actions by blocking. I cringed as I watched it. Embarrassing.

The other one was accidentally sent in as a saved game file, so it's just a picture of the aftermath.

 

So I bet it's true, but obviously it doesn't always apply.


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#18 jasonkw

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:33 AM

Think about it this way, if you're entering asteroids on turn 2, you probably set the line on turn 1 or 2, where using positional actions or friendly collision maneuvers don't eat actions needed for combat, as you're probably not in combat (or heavy combat) so early. You also have numbers in the beginning, so losing 1/x ships actions is less detrimental than 1/(x-y) actions. [x ships starting, y ships lost]

 

I use this tactic pretty often, I like using friendly collisions to give my ships unexpected maneuvers on the first (and sometimes second) turns.


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 


#19 PenguinBonaparte

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

I haven't got enough games to run statistics, but unless I can close off lanes, that's why I usually put the asteroids a little more dense on my side. It might get up in their grill to put one close to them, but once they're past it everything's over, but I'm happy if I can make them worry about the roids later in the match.


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#20 jasonkw

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:15 PM

I haven't got enough games to run statistics, but unless I can close off lanes, that's why I usually put the asteroids a little more dense on my side. It might get up in their grill to put one close to them, but once they're past it everything's over, but I'm happy if I can make them worry about the roids later in the match.

 

That makes a lot of sense. Maybe placing asteroids so they have to K-turn around them instead of placing them so they have to fly around them on turn 2.


Rebel: A-Wing (x2), X-Wing (x4), YT-1300 (x1), Y-Wing (x1), B-Wing (x1), HWK (x1)
Imperial: TIE Fighter (x7), TIE Interceptor (x2), Firespray (x1), Lambda Shuttle (x1) TIE Bomber (x1)

 





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