I've been trying to build up my imperials and I've played a few games at several different point levels. Most of the posts I'm seeing on here seem to indicate that the Empire is winning most games. I can't seem to get it together at all with my Empire. If I take and sort of power ships, like vader loaded with missiles, etc, he just gets shot down first. Regardless of the strong attack TIEs I take, they can't seem to scratch an xwing for anything. Three attack dice in range 1 still doesn't do much to Luke who rolls 2 and gets to turn a focus result into an evade. Even getting multiple TIEs onto the same target doesn't really seem like much of an advantage since he still rolls 2 defense against 2 (normal) attack dice. Anyway, what are the things that make Empire superior? I already know they can outmaneuver the crap out of the rebs. I spent a whole game with two TIEs following a Ywing and couldnt hurt the stupid thing at all.
I must be missing something
Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:10 PM
1. Take cheaper ships. Academy pilots are really good.
2. Take more ships. (see #1)
3. Maneuver out of firing arcs with barrel rolls.
4. Concentrate fire.
5. Try hard.
Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:23 PM
Do you mind posting some sample lists, showing what you took, and what your opponent was running? It'll be easier to get into specific tactics that way.
You mentioned always losing Vader right away, and having trouble killing Luke. What's going on here is target priority. What I mean by that, is when the match starts, take a look at what's across the board, and figure out what your opponent is going to try and combo, or what their overall battle plan is.
Make it your business to shut down ships with swarm tactics. A popular move is to use someone like Wedge with high pilot skill to bring a Rookie Pilot with Torpedos up to 9 and concentrate fire on one of your better ships. Usually Vader, and if they set it up right, this can open him up really badly. Wedge at Range 1 is 4 Attack dice vs your modified 2, and the Rookie Pilot can Torpedo and roll 4 Attack dice against your 3. This will force you to make some tough calls if you have Focus and Evade tokens.
If you see something like that on the board, you basically want to swarm Wedge and hit him until he's dead. That combo will take a couple of turns to setup first; Wedge needs to close to Range 1 and use Swarm Tactics, and the Rookie Pilot needs to get a Target Lock and be at Range 2, which I'll admit requires precision spacing on the Rebel's part, but Wedge in Range 2 is still doing 3 vs modified 2 Agility. This setup is going to require the ships to perform Actions, specifically the Target Lock from the Rookie Pilot. What you're going to want to do is screen Vader with some TIE Fighters that can setup Wedge to collide and lose his Action, which could be something really brutal like Marksmanship, or even a Focus, if he's planning a defensive backup. It could even be Target Lock/Torpedos. The point is, no action.
If you're running a couple of Academy Pilots, they go first in movement, ahead of the Rookie Pilot, and are my TIE of choice for this move; The Rookie Pilot moves AFTER the Academy Pilot, so will collide, and lose his action, so he won't get the Target Lock. Remember to try and take appropriate actions for your Academy Pilots, probably Evades, since they'll have X-Wings point blank on them, firing first. Since Vader and Wedge move last, but Wedge doesn't get an action, you can sort of tip the firepower scales back your way. Remember, Vader has 2 actions to use, so you have some setups of your own;
1)Use Squad Leader and donate an action to one of the speedbump Academy Pilots, so maybe they can Barrel Roll out of the firing arc of the X-Wing that just hit them. In that case, you can potentially have the Barrel Roll Pilot take a Focus action in preparation for this, doing a decent 3 Attack, with the Focus results helping boost the damage.
2)Marksmanship/Cluster Missiles and point it right at Wedge. With no Focus token to save his ass, and you converting all those hits, over two attacks, you're bound to drop his shields and hit the hull once or twice. It's not unreasonable to get a clean kill if he doesn't have something else helping his Agility, but if you don't finish him off, he'll be in deep trouble. A Focus might help you out here, but take the Evade as your other Action, because you'll be taking some return fire.
In this case, who has initiative becomes very important; in determining what the best course of action for the Rebels is;
If you go first, you unload both attacks into Wedge. If you don't kill him, it might make more sense for Wedge to attack the point blank Academy Pilot, to make sure your scrubby TIE doesn't kill him off later. If that's the case, you saved Vader Wedge's return fire. If Wedge elects to pot shot Vader, you just finish him off with the Academy Pilot. Wedge cannot end Vader single handedly, so the Rookie Pilot, who now just has Attack 3 vs your Agility 3, will potentially be able to cap Vader off, but if you took the Evade, you should weather the storm.
If the Rebels go first, they pretty much have no choice but to unload it all on Vader, not know what the return fire outcome is going to be, which you can bet will be Vader and 1-2 Academy Pilots, depending on how well you maneuvered them, so they're working with less information to properly assign their shots.
Always remember, assuming no critical hit cards, Vader with no damage cards is just as good a pilot as Vader with 2 damage cards. The same goes for your opponent. Spreading around the damage is generally only good if you can reasonably expect critical hits, which is harder to do versus Rebels on the initial pass, because of the shields on their ships.
Another piece of advice in your games, is to keep your shots away from Luke and R2D2. He's a defensive beast and very tough to kill with a couple of TIE's if Luke keeps Focus'ing his green dice. If you save him for last, you can bring all your firepower to bear. Luke isn't really that scary of an offensive guy as Wedge, so given the choice, I'd prefer to get rid of Wedge first. Your TIE's greatest assets in not getting killed are the Agility 3, the more generous movement options, and the Evade action.
Final advice; never be afraid to send an Academy Pilot to its death if you can take out an X-Wing as a result.
My Imperial list currently is Vader (usually with Marksmanship/Clusters), 4 Academy Pilots, and I'm changing around the unique pilot I put in for the 6th ship. They all have their uses, and lately, I've been feeling Winged Gundark, but it's changed before and will again, I'm sure.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:52 AM
5. Try hard.
Do or do not. There is no try.
Win, or win not. There is no tie.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:53 AM
I've had a similar problem (hard for Imperials to beat Rebels given all the great pilots and upgrades they have access to). One mistake I made was going after Luke and/or whoever had R2-D2 (and god forbid Luke had R2-D2). Even the one time I was lucky enough to kill them fairly quickly, I still lost in the end.
Next time I'm going to try a 7 ship imperial squad and NOT go after Luke and/or R2-D2 unless they are the only shot or everyone else is dead.
My worry is that this could be a good strategy in a timed game (MAYBE I could kill more points than a Rebel opponent before time runs out -- but that's 32 points -- Luke + R2-D2 -- or 33 points -- Wedge + R2-D2-- that will be very hard to kill in the end or that may never get killed). But, in a last man standing game I fear Imperials could still fair poorly.
I only have 2 solo games and 2 multi-player games (one 3 on 3 and one 4 on 4) under my belt, but so far Rebels seem tough to beat in a last man standing game.
But, I've heard others say the same about Imperials on the forums (given the low cost per shop) which has given me hope that maybe I'm just not playing very well yet.
Hopefully with more experience I'll figure something out. I don't think there is a good way for Rebels to have more than 4 ships in a 100 point game if they want to take any named pilots and R2-D2 which seems like an auto-include. Looks like the only way for them to get more than 4 ships is to go with a bunch of cheap and non-upgraded y-wings (plus maybe one good ship like Luke without any upgrades). Still scary since Ys need at least 7 hits to kill, but at least they'd have worse offense and be easier to hit, especially close up.
In a 4 on 7 game, you'd need to inflict 22 and 25 damage to destroy the Rebel squad (plus anything R2-D2 or R5-D8 are able to repair -- which in my experience will repair at a minimum of 2 and probably more shields -- bringing it up to 24 or 27 hits). That same Rebel Squad would need to inflict 21 damage to destroy the Imperial squad. But, remember, the Rebels would have some helpful upgrades in terms of offense and defense, whereas the Imperials could have virtually none in this scenario. Or, maybe 7 attacks vs. 4 will be enough to tip the balance. I look forward to finding out.
4 X-Wing • 3 Y-Wing • 2 A-Wing • 2 YT-1300 • 4 B-Wing • 2 HWK-290
8 TIE Fighter • 2 TIE Advanced X1 • 5 TIE Interceptor • 2 Firespray 31 • 6 TIE Bomber • 2 Lambda Class Shuttle
Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:39 AM
In order to turn the tide, the Imps need to survive the first few rounds. That's when the Rebels do the majority of their damage. Torps and focus fire while the Rebels are still flying formation are deadly.
The key to Imp victory is to survive those first few rounds with minimal losses. Trying splitting off 2-3 TIE flights. Put a pair like Backstabber and Howlrunner off to the side at start. Make the Rebels make a difficult choice. Do they engage the bulk of your force, going for your big names like Vader and Mauler Mithel, and risk letting Howlrunner and Backstabber slip behind them? Or do they chase down Backstabber/Howlrunner and allow Vader and Mithel to close distance and get very deadly up close?
Also, make judicious use of Evade in the early turns. Use Evade even when it seems like you may not need it. Remember that more often than not, the Rebels are going to move after most of your ships. You might very well need that Evade when they try to pull a surprise on you.
Once the terrain of the dogfight starts to force the Rebels to break formation a bit, that's when you strike, and strike hard. Then get out of there. Don't stay in a head-on engagement long. Hit and run works wonders.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:03 AM
To Expand on Tawnos' advice…
Make evade your primary action in the first turns where you're closing in on each other's lines. And focus everything you've got on one ship if you can. At maximum range you'll probably only drop a shield or two, but everything helps.
Once the initial head-to-head engagement you need to swarm at his ships from both sides, getting those range 1 bonus dice. And if you have Backstabber and Mauler, get those bonus dice from their special abilities. And continue to focus fire from multiple TIEs on single rebel ships as much as possible. Defensive upgrades like R2 can only heal one shield per turn. Make sure you're tossing enough dice to do more than 1 damage a turn and you'll win through attrition. Kill offensive threats like Wedge first.
But all of the above requires a good handle on how to maneuver such that this happens. That will come with practice.
My Imperial Tricks: Come at them enmass then split off right when you're inside Range Band 3 and take evades. You do this to either temp him to split his forces or get him to pick one group to go after. If they go after one flank the other group needs to quickly turn and come after the Reb's from behind to catch them in a cross fire if at all possible. If they split up, you can go with a divide and conquer strategy.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:23 PM
To echo what the others have said, don't be afraid of getting the rebels chasing some of your TIEs if it means that you can get others on their six. Just make sure that your pursued ships dodge and your pursuers don't overshoot. Also our speed can be a disadvantage because we have no straight or gentle ones. All in all it takes a little to get a hang of it but when you do you'll drive them nuts.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:58 PM
Thanks for all the info, guys. I'll get a chance to put some of it to practice on Sunday.