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Vader gets a new lease of life


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#1 Englishpete

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

So I played a friend last night at 100 pts who ran 5 Academy TIE's and Vader with Push the Limit and Engine Upgrade. I have to say, this makes Vader one hell of a pilot to be reconned with. It basically gives him 3 actions per turn, he may only have 2 attack, but this combo allows him to put those attacks on target and pretty much avoid being fired on.

In the first game, my four Red Squadron pilots (2 with engine upgrades), made short work of the 5 ties for the loss of 1 X-Wing, but pinning Vader for the kill took forever whilst he chipped at my shields. He was basically able to stay clear of 2 of 3 fire arcs at any given time.

In the second game Vader was more agressive and was able to be used to finish wounded X-Wings with relative impunity as the TIE's blocked X-Wing moves.

I am looking at pairing Vader with a squad like this for my regular Imp Squad. It's small by Imp standards, but very manueverable and hard to hit.

 Total Squad Points: 100

Pilot: "Dark Curse"
Tie Fighter (16)
Upgrades:

  • Stealth (3)


Pilot: Darth Vader
Tie Advanced x1 (29)
Upgrades:

  • Push The limit (3)
  • Engine Upgrade (4)


Pilot: Black Squadron Pilot 1
Tie Fighter (14)
Upgrades:

  • No Upgrades Selected


Pilot: Turr Phennir
Tie Interceptor (25)
Upgrades:

  • Push The limit (3)
  • Stealth (3)

To every man upon this Earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
(Horatius: Captain of the Gate)


#2 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:54 AM

I'm not sure how I feel about Vader with Push the Limit. (I haven't had that combo on the table, so this is theorycraft.) He already has two actions, so I feel like his gain from PtL isn't as great as others', and it's also relatively difficult for him to shed stress.

It's also a relatively costly option: you can get Vader + PtL + Engine Upgrade for 36 points, or Soontir Fel + PtL for 32. Fel doesn't have shields, but he is a substantial offensive upgrade over Vader, and those 4 points might make a difference elsewhere in your build. (For instance, in this list it means you can afford to upgrade the Black Squadron Pilot to an Alpha Squadron Pilot.)

As far as the overall build, it looks attractive for a few reasons--but I'm really skeptical about its offensive power. How are you going to deal with a Falcon escorted by a pair of X-wings, for instance?



#3 jetsetter

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:38 AM

I was the one flying Vader w/PTL, it was nice, BUT after talking with a coworker this morning, we were thinking Expert Handling would have been just as nice (no stress token, plus breaks TL with Free Barrel roll). 



#4 Englishpete

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:10 AM

Soontir is the other option, he is pretty nasty.

I will probably try both and see which suits me best. If I fly Soontir he will get stealth though.


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(Horatius: Captain of the Gate)


#5 Picasso

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

I'd spend the points on a missile for the big V over PTL.



#6 R5Don4

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:49 AM

jetsetter said:

I was the one flying Vader w/PTL, it was nice, BUT after talking with a coworker this morning, we were thinking Expert Handling would have been just as nice (no stress token, plus breaks TL with Free Barrel roll). 

 

Amazed that people still appear to be confused about Expert Handling.  You do realize you cannot use Barrel Roll and Expert Handling to Barrel Roll twice in a turn right?


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#7 jetsetter

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:54 AM

Oh yeah, but it would save him from doing the barrel roll with his two actions.



#8 Brian_Black

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:10 AM

It's an action either way.  Expert Handling doesn't provide a barrel roll as a free action.  The only benefit of Expert Handling on Imperial ships is breaking target locks.



#9 dbmeboy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:25 AM

Brian_Black said:

It's an action either way.  Expert Handling doesn't provide a barrel roll as a free action.  The only benefit of Expert Handling on Imperial ships is breaking target locks.

Actually, that's exactly what Expert Handling does.  FAQ, pg 1:

Expert Handling

The text on this card is incorrect. It should read:
“Action:Perform a free barrel roll action. If you donot have the [barrel roll] action icon, receive 1 stress token. You may then remove 1 enemy target lock from your ship."
 


#10 Picasso

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:40 AM

The roll is still an action and you cannot preform the same action twice in a phase. Being a Free action doesn't change the fact that you can only make one barrel roll a turn. It would be like taking two focus actions. 



#11 COM 2D

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:45 AM

dbmeboy said:

Brian_Black said:

 

It's an action either way.  Expert Handling doesn't provide a barrel roll as a free action.  The only benefit of Expert Handling on Imperial ships is breaking target locks.

 

 

Actually, that's exactly what Expert Handling does.  FAQ, pg 1:

Expert Handling

The text on this card is incorrect. It should read:
“Action:Perform a free barrel roll action. If you donot have the [barrel roll] action icon, receive 1 stress token. You may then remove 1 enemy target lock from your ship."
 

 

I should read the FAQ sometime. That makes Expert Handling a lot better than I had thought. I'm not sure about on Vader, but on a Interceptor, being able to barrel roll, and still have your regular action to boost, evade or focus is pretty awesome. Being able to remove 1 enemy target lock is just icing on the cake.



#12 dbmeboy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:57 AM

COM 2D said:

dbmeboy said:

 

Brian_Black said:

 

It's an action either way.  Expert Handling doesn't provide a barrel roll as a free action.  The only benefit of Expert Handling on Imperial ships is breaking target locks.

 

 

Actually, that's exactly what Expert Handling does.  FAQ, pg 1:

Expert Handling

The text on this card is incorrect. It should read:
Action: Perform a free barrel roll action. If you donot have the [barrel roll] action icon, receive 1 stress token. You may then remove 1 enemy target lock from your ship."
 

 

 

 

I should read the FAQ sometime. That makes Expert Handling a lot better than I had thought. I'm not sure about on Vader, but on a Interceptor, being able to barrel roll, and still have your regular action to boost, evade or focus is pretty awesome. Being able to remove 1 enemy target lock is just icing on the cake.

Not quite.  Notice that using Expert Handling is still itself an action, so using it takes your action for the round.

 

@Picasso: Exactly.  That's probably why they changed the card to give a free barrel roll action.  No stacking Expert Handling and Barrel Roll.



#13 COM 2D

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:03 AM

dbmeboy said:

Not quite.  Notice that using Expert Handling is still itself an action, so using it takes your action for the round.

 

 

Bah… that makes it the "meh" ability I thought it was.



#14 dbmeboy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:06 AM

COM 2D said:

dbmeboy said:

 

Not quite.  Notice that using Expert Handling is still itself an action, so using it takes your action for the round.

 

 

 

 

Bah… that makes it the "meh" ability I thought it was.

It is indeed only occasionally useful for the various TIE fighters (effectively just allowing them to break target locks).  On ships that don't already have the action though it can be pretty useful.  I like using it on Wedge to give him some help setting up shots/avoiding shots.



#15 COM 2D

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:24 AM

dbmeboy said:

It is indeed only occasionally useful for the various TIE fighters (effectively just allowing them to break target locks).  On ships that don't already have the action though it can be pretty useful.  I like using it on Wedge to give him some help setting up shots/avoiding shots.

 

True. I can certainly see it being useful on A-Wings



#16 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:35 AM

It may be a little more "meh" than two barrel rolls in a row, but it still has its uses. Remember how hard it was to kill stuff in the Quickstart? Using EH isn't so different from that. Rebel folks can still Focus of course, but TLing happens way more than just straight Focusing in my neck of the woods. 

Sticking it on Vader and playing somewhat neutral makes him damn near unkillable. Break a Rebel's lock with Expert handling, then take Evade or Focus for your second action, which let's be honest- you're probably doing all of that with Vader anyway. Just pay 2 more points and now your BR breaks the locks you'll inevitably be finding yourself subject to. If you use Vader as a lone roamer, you probably aren't taking Swarm Tactics on him anyway, so why  not give EH a shot? 

I think it works decently well on Howlrunner too as she's the target of focused fire a lot. Breaking the TL from a Range 1 X-Wing is nothing to sneeze at for two points. Swarm Tactics is usually a smarter bet on her, but if your buddies gang up and try to kill her first every single game or you run named TIE pilots exclusively, putting Expert Handling on her does increase survivability. 

I could see it on a ship like Mauler Mithel. He's probably got a Rookie or Red Squadron pilot flying around hounding him, but not the entire Rebel squadron. Give him EH to keep that tailing ship honest. I don't really see him as a candidate for Swarm Tactics, so why not? 

Any Rebel player worth his salt knows he's unlikely to ionize a TIE unless he's got a Target Lock to burn. No TL, (probably) no ion token. Of course, they also know that no Imperial player plans on an X-Wing pulling Barrel Rolls, so it's a good way to keep the Imperials honest if your list is getting a little stale and your group thinks they know what to expect out of you before you even show up. Stick it on Wedge a game or two and watch the fun commence.

 



#17 Brian_Black

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

Sorry, I extracted the free action Barrel Roll within Expert Handling as the Action taken by using EH.  It boils down to the same thing; no Barrel Rolling twice.



#18 Picasso

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

Back to the question with this.  I don't think Vader gets a new lease.  

Any ship with the upgrade ability can take Push the Limit.  They now have Vader's ability for 3 points.  

Giving Vader PTL is redundent not to mention he has a hard time getting rid of stress.  A squint or an A-wing do it easy.

A Saber Squad Squint packs more fire power for less points and again you can give it PTL and put it on par with Vader.  It also comes with Boost.

A YT-100 will almost always have Vader in it's sights no matter where he moves.  If the pilot of the YT-100 is Han, He is shooting in the same phase and rerolling against you no matter what.  Also if there is a gunner or Marksmanship he is eating through your focus and evade token.

 

I'm not saying Vader is a wasted pilot.  I'm saying that I don't think the boost or PTL or Dare devil combo on him is a big improvment.  I think the assault missile on him or a homing missle.  Maybe Expose.  OH I LIKE THAT!  Vader is good at shooting do what you can to get him more attake dice, now that is interesting.



#19 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

I'm not sure about Expose on Vader, either. He doesn't suffer as badly as other pilots do because he can still take another action--but I wouldn't pay 33 points for a Rookie Pilot, which is essentially what he becomes. 

I think he's mostly what he was in Wave 1: a flexible presence even without upgrades, and one of the most effective alpha strikers in the game. 



#20 Picasso

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

I'd like to play it a few times.  It sounds exciting.  I think stealth device makes him a real pain.






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