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Squad input: Academy vs. Obsidian TIEs


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#1 Parakitor

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:44 AM

I put together a little squad and got slaughtered. I only took down 1 of my opponent's 3 X-wings. I learned from some of my mistakes, and would like to revisit the squad, but maybe with an adjustment.

"Howlrunner" (Swarm Tactics) [20]
"Dark Curse" [16]
"Night Beast" [15]
"Fel's Wrath" [23]
Academy Pilot [12]
Academy Pilot [12]
TOTAL 98 points

Considering my next game will be at game night with 2-3 consecutive games, I have thought about trading out the Academy Pilots for Obsidian Squadron Pilots to utilize those leftover points. The main reason this came to me was theme : I like it better when I'm flying with a named squadron instead of greenies. Not exactly a competitive reason, but I like to have a squad I can have fun with even if I lose. And since I have the points leftover, I figure, why not?

If I keep the Academy Pilots they will be able to ram the Rookies and Goldies (and other Academy Pilots). But even if I upgrade them, they will be able to jam up the flight path of higher-skilled pilots, and they'll be able to shoot the 2's and 1's before being shot. Of course, then I may lose intiative, but I don't see that as a huge problem for this squad with mostly middle-PS pilots, do you?

Let me know your thoughts. It's not urgent, but I've never asked for squad advice here, and I figured I'd have a go at it. But please stick to the topic of the thread. I already have about 6 completely different Imperial squads I could try, so I don't need any help there. Just want to know your thoughts on whether or not you'd upgrade the Academy Pilots to Obsidian Squadron Pilots in this case.



#2 sojo2600

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:29 AM

Eh, I'd say keep the academy pilots and throw a swarm tactics onto Mauler Mithel.



#3 Duraham

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:09 AM

Parakitor said:

 

I put together a little squad and got slaughtered. I only took down 1 of my opponent's 3 X-wings. I learned from some of my mistakes, and would like to revisit the squad, but maybe with an adjustment.

"Howlrunner" (Swarm Tactics) [20]
"Dark Curse" [16]
"Night Beast" [15]
"Fel's Wrath" [23]
Academy Pilot [12]
Academy Pilot [12]
TOTAL 98 points

Considering my next game will be at game night with 2-3 consecutive games, I have thought about trading out the Academy Pilots for Obsidian Squadron Pilots to utilize those leftover points. The main reason this came to me was theme : I like it better when I'm flying with a named squadron instead of greenies. Not exactly a competitive reason, but I like to have a squad I can have fun with even if I lose. And since I have the points leftover, I figure, why not?

If I keep the Academy Pilots they will be able to ram the Rookies and Goldies (and other Academy Pilots). But even if I upgrade them, they will be able to jam up the flight path of higher-skilled pilots, and they'll be able to shoot the 2's and 1's before being shot. Of course, then I may lose intiative, but I don't see that as a huge problem for this squad with mostly middle-PS pilots, do you?

Let me know your thoughts. It's not urgent, but I've never asked for squad advice here, and I figured I'd have a go at it. But please stick to the topic of the thread. I already have about 6 completely different Imperial squads I could try, so I don't need any help there. Just want to know your thoughts on whether or not you'd upgrade the Academy Pilots to Obsidian Squadron Pilots in this case.

 

 

 

Depends on what you want to do. with skill 1 pilots it is not just about blocking others, it is also a guarantee that you WILL get your actions, so if you can get them into a very good position with focus, that actually translates to a very big difference that isn't too obvious at first glance. With skill 3, you will likely chew through other lower skilled pilots like rookie Xwings and gold Ywings and academy TIEs, alpha TIE/in etcetc so that isn't too bad either, and if your opponent doesnt have them then they are essentially the same as your academy pilots. in short, i tend to view obsidian TIEs as a sort of counter-pick, ie. you expect your opponent to field these lower ranked pilots and you want to get rid of them, so you upgrade your academy TIEs to obsidian TIEs.

 

otherwise yeah, i'd consider using the 2 upgrade points elsewhere, like maybe upgrade howlrunner's swarmtactics to elusiveness, or downgrade swarmtactics to determination and you have 3 left over points to turn night beast into a alpha TIE/in to go with your academy TIEs or something? I always find not much use in a single swarm tactic, unless it is paired with some specific uses like say garven or biggs. If you really do not have a use for those leftover points, I'd say upgrade them to obsidian if you could do a mass upgrade. no matter what, I will prioritize having them all at the exact same PS over having 1 or 2 obsidian TIEs and the rest all academy for eg. Since you could do that with your current list, I would say go for the obsidians.

 

 

tl;dr, Having all at the exact same PS level >> academy TIE + good upgrades for named pilots or TIE/in >> obsidian TIE en masse >> academy TIE en masse + leftover points



#4 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:29 AM

Parakitor said:

I put together a little squad and got slaughtered. I only took down 1 of my opponent's 3 X-wings. I learned from some of my mistakes, and would like to revisit the squad, but maybe with an adjustment.

"Howlrunner" (Swarm Tactics) [20]
"Dark Curse" [16]
"Night Beast" [15]
"Fel's Wrath" [23]
Academy Pilot [12]
Academy Pilot [12]
TOTAL 98 points

…Just want to know your thoughts on whether or not you'd upgrade the Academy Pilots to Obsidian Squadron Pilots in this case.

I'm about 51% for promoting the Academy Pilots--mostly because I've come around to the idea that you actually don't want initiative.

I would look for other ways to spend those points, first, but if you can't find anything attractive I'd go ahead.



#5 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:39 AM

I'd say upgrade them. I think having initiative isn't really that big of a deal anyway. Maybe I've just managed to somehow avoid it in every game I've ever played, but I honestly don't think I've ever even had the crit damage effects thing  come up, let alone actually matter. It certainly didn't make an impression on me if it did. For moving,  yeah, it makes a difference, but as Rebs don't have a PR3 ship, I don't see how that matters in the context of this discussion- you're basically paying a point to shoot everything on his side versus saving the point and shooting before nothing. So they move before you- so what?  

That said, I think more folks are starting to feel that initiative isn't that big of a deal and are butting right up to 100 points, so you'd still probably have it if initiative does matter to you. 

Having a ship at PR3 versus PR1 does have a tangible benefit in my opinion, and to jump up 2 PR like that for only 1 point when you don't have those two points ear-marked for anything else anyway? And fire before anything below a Red Squadron X-Wing? Why not? 

Full disclosure, the blocking meta isn't that popular where I play, so I'm not inclined to think in those terms. I mainly play Rebels and I always split my forces, so the blocking tactics, when they are deployed against me, rarely actually work. If that's a huge deal to you, be aware my answer isn't taking that into account.



#6 Parakitor

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:01 AM

Thanks for the replies. It's nice to know I'm not missing something in my musings. Looks like I'll go Obsidian, but who knows? Maybe I'll find some other way to change it up and use those two points between now and Monday. Keep your eyes open for a battle report next week. Hopefully I can remember to bring my camera AND take pictures while I'm there.



#7 BigDogg

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:12 AM

Cid_MCDP said:

I'd say upgrade them. I think having initiative isn't really that big of a deal anyway. Maybe I've just managed to somehow avoid it in every game I've ever played, but I honestly don't think I've ever even had the crit damage effects thing  come up, let alone actually matter. It certainly didn't make an impression on me if it did. For moving,  yeah, it makes a difference, but as Rebs don't have a PR3 ship, I don't see how that matters in the context of this discussion- you're basically paying a point to shoot everything on his side versus saving the point and shooting before nothing. So they move before you- so what?  

That said, I think more folks are starting to feel that initiative isn't that big of a deal and are butting right up to 100 points, so you'd still probably have it if initiative does matter to you. 

Having a ship at PR3 versus PR1 does have a tangible benefit in my opinion, and to jump up 2 PR like that for only 1 point when you don't have those two points ear-marked for anything else anyway? And fire before anything below a Red Squadron X-Wing? Why not? 

Full disclosure, the blocking meta isn't that popular where I play, so I'm not inclined to think in those terms. I mainly play Rebels and I always split my forces, so the blocking tactics, when they are deployed against me, rarely actually work. If that's a huge deal to you, be aware my answer isn't taking that into account.

I completely agree and have found most of what you've stated is right on the money….our group also has not experienced the Blocking meta amongst our players…..most feel its a little to gimmicky


  • Rebels: 5 X-wing, 3 Y-wing, 3 A-wing, 3 B-wing, 2 Hawk 290 and  a YT-1300
  • Imperial: 9 Tie fighters, 3 Advanced, 3 Interceoters, 2 Bombers, a Shuttle and Firspray 31

#8 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:26 AM

Parakitor said:

Thanks for the replies. It's nice to know I'm not missing something in my musings. Looks like I'll go Obsidian, but who knows? Maybe I'll find some other way to change it up and use those two points between now and Monday. Keep your eyes open for a battle report next week. Hopefully I can remember to bring my camera AND take pictures while I'm there.

I do love a good battle report. It's like methadone for when I can't get together to play.

As for how else to spend the points, the problem for me is that every interesting upgrade I can think of costs an odd number. 1 point turns Night Beast into Backstabber; 3 points buys a Stealth Device for Howlrunner or Dark Curse, or turns Night Beast into an Alpha Squadron Pilot; 5 points turns Fel's Wrath into Turr Phennir + Push the Limit. But I don't know what you do with 2 points in your squad--other than, as you proposed, to turn the Academy Pilots into Obsidian Squadrons.



#9 hothie

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

For the 2 points, would i turn the Academy Pilots into Obsidians? No, I would rather turn Night Beast into Mauler.

It kind of depends on how you're going to fly it. Obviously you have Howlrunner, so you're going to keep your ships together around her. But you have 6 ships, so do you try to fly 6 together, or do you split up and go with 2 wings? If you're going to fly them all together, then I'd say go with the Obsidians. but if you go with Obsidians, why do you have Swarm tactics? Your pilot skills are now 8, 6, 5, 5, 3, 3, so you're still attacking before any Level 2 or 1 ships. And Swarm Tactics is absolutely wasted if you use it on Fel's Wrath. If you want to go with Obsidians, I would drop Swarm tactics and go with Mauler over Night Beast.

But if you're going to fly in 2 wings, then you're going to want another threat in the other wing, as Howlrunner will be the target of whichever wing she is in. You're going to want to make your opponent think about which wing he wants to target first. In which case, I would go with:

Howlrunner w/Swarm, Fel's Wrath, and Academy Pilot in 1 wing, and Backstabber (instead of Dark Curse), Mauler (with the extra 2 points, turning Night Beast into Mauler), Academy Pilot in the other. If you're facing that, now who do you go after? Either wing is fairly potent on its own. Or you could run the other AP with Howlrunner and FW, making one wing be 4 ships, with Backstabber and Mauler in the other wing. Still potent, and you're using Howlrunner's ability a little more. It all depends on what you're comfortable with flying.

These are just my thoughts, and only using the ship types you have listed.

 



#10 Torresse

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

I dont think swarm tactics is worth it with your list, the first person Im going to gun for is howlrunner. With Fels wrath, you dont even need to worry about swarm tactics. I would drop the swarm tactics, and put a detiremenation on Howlrunner. you also have the points to put a stealth device on either Fel or better yet dark curse…



#11 Parakitor

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

@Hothie & Torressee: You ask some good soul-searching questions. Why have Swarm Tactics, indeed? It doesn't really 'fit' in here does it?

My idea behind Obsidian Squadron Pilots was that there is a lot of push towards 4-ship Rebel builds, and the Obsidians could shoot first. That also means the core object in taking Swarm Tactics is nullified, which I hadn't really considered. I guess she could boost other ships high enough to shoot down "Dutch," Garven, Biggs or a bunch of the named pilots, but is it worth it to boost the PS of only one other ship? Perhaps not.

If I take Obs. Sq. Pilots and drop Swarm Tactics, it leaves me in the same predicament of having 2 points left over. I could upgrade "Night Beast" out for "Mauler Mithel," but 1) I haven't thad much luck with him (he's cannon fodder) and 2) poor little "Night Beast" doesn't get to see much flight time.

As far as formation…let's just say I need to practice formation flying. I guess that's part of the reason I wanted to try Imperials in a non-Vassal tournament. I think the 'two groups ofthree' Hothie suggested sound great; enough that I may move on up to "Mauler Mithel" afterall.

Thanks for the replies. I think the question on Swarm Tactics was the kind of advice I knew I was missing here. My squad's not bad, but it could be optimized. More good stuff to ponder on.



#12 hothie

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

If:

1) you're going to drop Swarm Tactics

2) you're going to fly as 2 wings

How about this:

Howlrunner, Fel's Wrath, Dark Curse, Night Beast, Backstabber, Academy Pilot

Howlrunner, FW, and AP fly as 1 wing. The AP can block, as your opponent will likely focus on this wing, with Howl and an Interceptor in it. The other wing is Backstabber, Dark Curse, and Night Beast, and they try and flank your opponent's ships that are focusing on your other wing. You also get to play the ships that you want to play. Essentially you're taking the 2 leftover points and the 2 points from Swarm and upgrading an AP into Backstabber, which is almost necessary for a 2 wing Imperial attack. And 5 of your 6 ships have pilot skill 5 or higher, so you'll be getting your attacks off vs 4-ship rebel builds.






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