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Fel Wrath?


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#1 saiharris

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:20 AM

Is Fel just the worst character in the game by miles or am I missing something?

Fel's ability is rubbish, hes over cost compared to the rest of his choices and, well, what am I missing. For a point less you could make one pilot skill 6…



#2 Ravncat

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:35 AM

he's good when people forget about his ability - which is more often than not - he usually takes something down with him.



#3 Englishpete

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:42 AM

He is not the best pilot, but don't under estimate the ability to get that last shot in. At range 1 an extra 4 dice attack before being removed can be just what is needed.

He also flys one of the most manuverable ships in the game. PS6 won't help you if you are shot by a PS 7+

He isn't my go to guy, but he is pointed about right.


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)


#4 Picasso

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:39 AM

Fel's Wrath is one of the most under rated pilots in the game.  His ability to still shoot even after death I've seen win a few games already. I think he would have been better with a lower pilot skill but that's just me. I've seen people use him as the ship they know they have to sacrifice to get positioning on a different target so that he is shot down but still gets his shot off. 



#5 Melkor503

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

When I first read the ability, I totally agreed that he was worthless.  I didn't see the point, unless there was an upgrade card that he could take advantage of.  Then I read the card again, and put 1 + 1 together.  The ability is actully really useful to make sure that you get that shot in before removing him from the game.  I do agree with Picasso about a lower skill level being even more useful, but he is fairly costed, so I can't really complain. 



#6 Tawnos

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:57 PM

When I first saw Fel's Wrath, I knew right away I wouldn't like him.  He violates one of my personal competitive gaming rules: Never plan to fail.

Any ability that only does something useful as a result of something bad happening to you isn't one I think is worth playing.  Better to plan right from the get go to simply not fail at all.  Being prepared for failure is all well and good; the ability to think on your feet and adapt to changing situations during a game is key to being a good player.  But there's no need for your squad to devote almost 1/4 of its point value to a ship who's plan is to die.

 



#7 MerryVulture

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:15 PM

How do you all feel about DarkCurse?

I ask, because I see Fels Wrath as much the same. I most games I have used him, Dark Curse doens't get shot at unless he is the only target, just because he is so irrating with his no reroll/focus nonsense.

Fel's Wrath is kind of the same, a fighter no one is shooting at, because you just aren't gonna be rid of him untill he shoots any way. Any ship not being shot at is a ship shooting unopposed.


Rebel: More than most, less than some.

Empire: Ditto

 


#8 Tawnos

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:08 PM

I'm not sure that's entirely true.  No one shoots at Dark Curse because there tend to be higher priority targets, or at least equivalent targets that are easier to hit.  If you objective is to decrease the enemy squad's effectiveness, there are more efficient targets that are easier to hit.

The situation isn't the same with Fel's Wrath.  If you kill him, he shoots you.  If you don't kill him, he still shoots you, and lives to do it again.  Not shooting him isn't really doing yourself any favors.



#9 Picasso

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

Tawnos,

I disagree somewhat with what you are saying.  I think Wrath draws a lot of fire away from other ships or gets ignored because of his ability.  Either way his ability is helping somewhere in your game.  I don't think it is the greatest ability ever BUT, I don't think it is as bad as people make it out to be.



#10 Tawnos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 03:24 AM

I guess I don't fully understand why his ability would change anyone's behavior.  The shot is going to happen whether you kill him or not.  There's very little you can do to mitigate that.  I suppose if you can kill him before he closes distance, that would be ideal, but if he's closed to Range 1, then that ship has sailed.  There's no reason to not dust him; he's getting that Range 1 shot on you either way.

As for ignoring him, that makes even less sense to me.  It's akin to saying "I'm ignoring him and letting him shoot at me because I'm afraid he might shoot at me."

The only use I can see for him is to play him ridiculously aggressively and run him out front like an Academy pilot to gum up the works, and in theory if he dies you still get that last shot.  But, why not just use an Academy pilot for that?  They're almost half the cost and don't require you to sacrifice a 23-point ship to get full use of an ability.



#11 KineticOperator

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:44 AM

Skills come in 3 flavors:

1 - Help you to win even more when you are already winning.

2 - Help you to tip the balance in an even game.

3 - Help you to turn the game around when you are losing.

For example, a skill that changes a hit to a crit will help your already successful attack be more successful.  It requires that you are already in a posistion to be getting past Agility dice and Evade tokens, it doesn't actually help you until you are already "winning".  It falls firmly in category 1.

Han Solo's reroll allows you to take an unsuccessful roll and maybe succeed with it.  You don't have to be in a bad position for it to work.  It is a category 2.

Fel's ability kicks in when you are in the unfortunate position of losing your Interceptor.  It allows you the opportunity to negate the effect of his being destroyed for the remainder of the round.  This gives you an opportunity to turn the game around.  Firmly a category 3.

 

Cat 1 skills are generally less valuable than they appear.  They don't provide new options for you, they don't help you to gain the upper hand.  They aren't useless, but they are generally less valuable then Cat 2 or 3 because even if you didn't have the skill the fact is you were already winning without it.

Cat 2 skills are generally the most useful because they help you tip the balance in your favor.  Like most things, it is when things are even that both sides have the most opportunity to shape the game.  Once one player has the upper hand, it tends to reinforce itself and makes it difficult to tip the balance the other way.  This is why Torpedoes, Missiles and such are so much more useful fired immediately than reserved for later, and why the first pass is so critical.

Cat 3 skills fall somewhere between Cat 2 and Cat 1.  If your opponent has the upper hand, they provide you an opportunity to tip the scales. They are less useful than Cat 2 skills because they require you to lose, a situation that is inherently bad, before they kick in. Unfortunately, the nature of an unbalanced play field means that if your opponent has gained too much of an advantage this skill may not be enough to overcome it.  To put it into arbitrary numbers, if your opponent has an advantage of 2 points and your skill kicks in for 3, you can tip the balance in your favor.  If he had managed to gain a 4 point or higher advantage, your skill won't be enough and will be wasted.

In these terms, for 3 Points (compared to a Avenger Squadron Interceptor) Fels Wrath gains 2 skills.  One, he gains 2 points of PR which is minor but is a Cat 2 skill so it is generally useful.  He also gains his special ability to fire after being destroyed, which is a moderately effective Cat 3 skill, so it has the potential to bail you out of a bad situation as long as things aren't going TOO badly.  For 3 points, these 2 skills together are definitely worthwhile.

By comparison, Mercenary Copilot has a more powerful skill (change hit to crit), but it is a Cat 1 skill so even though he only costs 2 points he is much less cost effective.

Try to populate your lists with Cat 2 skills, and one or two Cat 3 skills, while avoiding Cat 1.  You will find your success rate will climb drastically.  This method will work in any game, by the way.


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#12 Tawnos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:24 AM

See, I disagree that Fel fits into any of those categories; especially not Cat 3.  His ability isn't going to help you turn around a game that you're losing.  His ability requires that you lose even harder for it to even activate.

Only those abilities that generete incremental advantage will help you turn around a losing game.  Ion Cannons, R2-D2, strong manuevability….these things will help you turn around a game that you're losing by either denying your opponent options or giving yourself more options.  Fel's ability doesn't generate any kind of advantage; he's a vanilla Interceptor until his death, at which point he becomes the equivalent of a crappy missile weapon:

  • Bits-of-Wrath Missiles
  • 23 pts.
  • 3 (1-3)
  • Attack (Fel's Wrath): Expend your Fel's Wrath and flip this card facedown to perform this attack.  This attack is affected by range modifiers.

Okay, so that's mostly a joke……mostly.  Really, the cost of that "missile" is the cost difference between an Avenger Squad Pilot with a Veteran Insticts (21) and Fel's Wrath (23).  So, would you pay 2 squad points for that?  Because I sure wouldn't.

And yes, I'm aware Avenger pilots can't have upgrades.  I'm just making a rough point comparison.



#13 Vonpenguin

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:35 AM

Fel's wrath does change behavior though. The fact that attacking him does nothing to stop his own attacks mean that getting out of his firing arc is even more important than for other characters. Anyone else a higher skill pilot can take out and you'r safe, with him the threat remains. It also turns any other imperial ship in the same firing arc as him into a poor man's biggs, why fire at him and get a delayed benifit instead of something else for an imediate one? His power isn'tearth shattering like some of them but it's solid enough.



#14 Parakitor

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:44 AM

 

Wow, Tawnos. Thanks for sharing that insight. I never thought of it that way before.

I've tried "Fel's Wrath" several times, but the two biggest downsides in my opinion are 1) if he dies pointed away from an enemy, that's wasted points and 2) if he strikes a dischordant note on his swan song, he is pointless, too. Moreover, I laugh a little inside when I kill him with a pilot at a lower skill than him, because that kind of defeats his purpose as well.

But despite all that, I still like the guy. I'll definitely give him a closer look before incorporating him into any squads, though.

@Vonpenguin. Good thoughts, too.


"That starship won't fly, Bastila."


#15 KineticOperator

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:54 AM

Tawnos,

I think the problem is that you are trying to use his ability.  The reason Cat 3 abilities are less valuable is because you try your best NOT to use them.  In this specific case;

You should never maneuver Fel's Wrath in a way to use his ability.  At most you maneuver him so that IF things go badly you still have his ability as a backup, but you should only do that when there aren't any GOOD options to choose from.  You don't WANT him to die, you want him to stick around as a slightly higher PR Interceptor.  Use him that way, get your shots in before other generic squadron ships.  Keep him alive and shooting.  Your best games will be the ones where his special ability never comes into play at all.

If the unfortunate moment comes along that Fel's Wrath is getting killed, his ability kicks in to give you one chance to keep his loss from turning the game against you.

That is it.  No magic, just use his weak Cat 2 ability (PR 5) as much as you can.  Keep his other ability in mind, but never intentionally put yourself in a position to "lose" just so you can use an ability that will help you overcome the problem.  That is like jumping into shark filled water just to have the opportunity to show how fast you can swim.  Its a great ability and all, but you would be better off on dry land.



#16 Tawnos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:07 AM

I like this discussion; it's a lot of good insight to how different players think and strategize.  I certainly don't begrudge anyone Fel's Wrath who can make him work for them.  He just doesn't fit my gaming mindset.  At the end of the day, spending extra points on an ability that I don't want to use is completely counterintuitive to me.  Why not spend those points on something that's good when you're winning and losing?

I'll concede that allowing Fel's Wrath to be in close range of one of your high-skill ships is something to avoid.  Problem being is that those high-skill ships have a lot of options for staying out of his arc since they move after him; especially those pesky Imperial ships with their barrel rolls and boosts.

But as far as favoring other targets over Fel's Wrath, that has nothing to do with Fel's Wrath and everything to do with your other targeting options.  Of course you're going to target the highest priority in arc; but that's going to be to case regardless of whether Fel's Wrath is one of those choices or not.  For example, if you've got Wrath and Turr in arc with an equal chance of hitting both, of course you're going to target Turr.  He's the higher priority target.  But the same is true if it's Saber Squadron Pilot and Turr, too.  That's doesn't make Turr a "poor man's Biggs".  That makes Turr someone you want to murder much more than Wrath.

We don't shoot at Biggs because we want to; we shoot at Biggs because the game won't let us shoot at anyone else. :P



#17 KineticOperator

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:21 AM

Tawnos,

You made a lot of other comparisons to abilities that aren't comparable.  R2D2, Ion Cannons, Strong Maneuverability, all of those are solid Cat 2 abilities that you can use at any time.  All you did is prove my point that Cat 2 abilities are generally much better.  You are right, you got it, spot on, exactly, bingo.

You also compared Fel's Wrath to an Avenger with VI, except that Avengers can't get VI.  You can't just ignore that fact, it is part of the comparison.  If you want to compare, compare Fel's Wrath to Saber Squadron with VI.  Sabers will have a slightly higher PR of 6 vs Fel's Wrath PR of 5, and no other ability.  Both will generally be able to shoot before generic squadron ships, neither will be generally be able to shoot before named pilots, so it is very debatable whether that PR is of much value.  However, Fel's Wrath gains the ability to shoot back when and if a named pilot kills him.

If you are losing, which is a term I use generally to describe a situation that is bad for you, Fel's Wrath gives you an opportunity to keep the table even and the Saber with VI does not.  Is it worth 1 point to have a chance at revenge vs. named pilots?  That is up to you, but I tend to think it is.  Fel's Wrath has a points cost that is exactly in line with his ability.  He is a middle of the road pilot with middle of the road abilities and a middle of the road cost.  That's it.  Don't bring up R2D2 or Ion Cannons because if you have an Imperial list you can't use them, so it really doesn't matter.  Obviously if I could put R2D2 on a shielded TIE I would be all over it.

If you want a good illustration of what I am talking about, take any ability and change the circumstances in which it activates.  For example, Wedge has a powerful Cat 2 ability.  Let's use the same ability, and put it into 3 separate categories.

Cat 1:  When Wedge is firing at ships from outside their firing arc, reduce their Agl by 1.

Cat 2:  When Wedge is firing at a ship, reduce their Agl by 1.

Cat 3:  When Wedge is firing at a ship from within their firing arc, reduce their Agility by 1.

The Cat 1 ability requires you to be in a position where you would already have the upper hand.  If you played an entire game with Wedge firing at people from their blindspots, it wouldn't really matter if you used his ability or not because you would win anyway.  His ability would just make it easier.

The Cat 2 ability is useful regardless, and is what we have already.  I doubt I need to explain how good it is.

The Cat 3 ability would only be useful if you left Wedge open to being shot at.  If you make a habit of leaving him exposed to fire, he will die, so you will hopefully not be doing that.  The only time this ability would come into play is when you accidentally left Wedge exposed.  In a good game, you will never activate the ability.  In a very bad game, he will probably use the ability once and it may or may not help you overcome the fact that Wedge is being blown to bits.  In a close game where you accidentally leave him exposed, his ability may be able to help you overcome the fact that he is being blasted.

This is why Backstabber's ability to add one attack die (statistically more powerful than removing an Agl die) is less valuable than Wedge's ability.

Keep in mind I am using general terms / Categories, but in general you should look for skills that are useful at any time, or when the game is even.  After that, you should look for skills that help you turn the tide if things are going badly.  After that, you should look for abilities that help you pile on when you are already doing well.  Keep in mind a very powerful Cat 1 ability may still be preferable to a weak Cat 2, the generalization of Cat 2 > Cat 3 > Cat 1 is fine for equally powerful skills but not all skills are equal after all.



#18 Vonpenguin

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:46 AM

Tawnos said:



But as far as favoring other targets over Fel's Wrath, that has nothing to do with Fel's Wrath and everything to do with your other targeting options.  Of course you're going to target the highest priority in arc; but that's going to be to case regardless of whether Fel's Wrath is one of those choices or not.  For example, if you've got Wrath and Turr in arc with an equal chance of hitting both, of course you're going to target Turr.  He's the higher priority target.  But the same is true if it's Saber Squadron Pilot and Turr, too.  That's doesn't make Turr a "poor man's Biggs".  That makes Turr someone you want to murder much more than Wrath.

We don't shoot at Biggs because we want to; we shoot at Biggs because the game won't let us shoot at anyone else. :P

But if Wedge is given the choice between fell's wrath and a generic, He'll choose the generic because then he has a chance to remove an attack against him even though the generic would normally be a lower priority. That's what I mean.

 

Yes Biggs forces it which is why it's a "poor man's" version. It's not guaranteed but it changes up who you want to hit and thus protects the other ship.



#19 Tawnos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:18 AM

Vonpenguin said:

But if Wedge is given the choice between fell's wrath and a generic, He'll choose the generic because then he has a chance to remove an attack against him even though the generic would normally be a lower priority. That's what I mean.

Sure, that may be the case.  I fail to see how that's to the benefit of the person fielding Fel's Wrath, though.  Why would you want to encourage your opponent to shoot down your other ships so they can't shoot back?  It's not like Wrath gains some advantage by staying alive that any other Interceptor wouldn't have.  Seems to me that's just Wrath throwing his buddies under the bus.

@Kinetic:

Also, I did say that I know Avenger Squad can't take elite upgrades; I was using VI as a basis for rough point value comparison of equal pilot skill Interceptor, since I don't have time to find the reverse engineering values that someone posted here a while back.  Most of my musings here are about the value of the squad points being invested, so whether or not an exact scenario is impossible (like Avenger with VI) is irrelevant.

As for Ion Cannons, R2, etc., those are examples of abilities that generate advantages for you.  Maybe poor examples, since yes, Imperials can't use them, but in an abstract sense the point stands.  When you're losing, you look for ways to gain advantages and decrease your opponent's advantages.  Wrath's ability is poor at both of these things, hence my disagreement that he even qualifies as a "Cat 3" abiltity.

I think the difference in our mindsets is that you seem to like Wrath as a "rainy day" option.  I would rather invest those points into reducing the chances of a "rainy day."  A prevention vs. cure kind of thing.  I'd rather have an Avenger with a Stealth Device for 23 points than Fel.  If the SD helps him survive even one turn where he would have otherwise been destroyed, it's already served equal value to Wrath's ability, and has the potential to be much, much better.



#20 Tawnos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:30 AM

Tell you what, give me a couple weeks, and I'll toy around with some squads that include Wrath.  I don't think you can build a squad around him, exactly, so I'll just take some of my favorite Imp squads and sub him in for other ships.

I realize that I'm arguing from a weak position here having never actually used him.  I'll come back and report my impressions after I've played him a few times.






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