Magnus Grendel

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About Magnus Grendel

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    The Empire Needs You!
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  1. The puzzle that is Cassian

    Not sure exactly what you mean here. You'll get a 50/50 chance of causing a point of damage to your target and nearby (range 1) targets plus a gunner primary shot with a focus from operations specialist. That's not that amazing a damage output unless I'm missing something.
  2. The puzzle that is Cassian

    I think FCS/Gunner/Operations Specialist is a very nice trick - the trio is something that whilst not completely unique to the U-wing (the ghost can do it, as can the imperial shuttles) does at least set it apart from the auzituck. The fact that Op Spec also provides a nice area buff to the rest of the squad is valuable too. I remember someone's suggested 'scarif' squad - and with recent releases it might work even better: Blue Squadron Pathfinder Pivot Wing Fire Control System Gunner Operations Specialist Rookie Pilot x 3 Flight Assist Astromech Integrated Astromech
  3. Which is the better TAP swarm?

    I think that's a fair comment. Cruise Missiles are devastating if flown right, but they aren't an alpha strike weapon like harpoons or homing missiles because using them to their full effect telegraphs your plans to an insane degree. If your opponent is going to calmly let your squad do an en-masse 4 straight and land in missile range, then frankly they deserve whatever they get*. It's having some ships come in from the flank, and some use their evade and k-turn behind the enemy to fire, and so on, that will give you the best value - much like proton rockets, they're a weapon of opportunity; harder to set up a 'good shot' but providing better synergy with TIE/v1 when you do. * and since what they're getting is sufficient rerolled red dice to kill a ghost in a single combat phase without breaking a sweat, that's saying something.
  4. The puzzle that is Cassian

    The problem is this: you're not turning 180 - because you're using Daredevil as a setup move, and Daredevil is always a 90' turn. So what you're doing is turning left then swapping to face right - which has only limited benefits over just turning right in the first place. What it won't do is let you face 'backwards' relative to your original position. Kyle is always a good call for anyone doing silly moves, and Expert Handling does give you a lot of options. Not as much as Daredevil, though. My variation on the theme isn't cheap, but does turn the U-wing into a sort of large-based TIE striker, capable of some truly insane moves: Cassian Andor (27) Pivot Wing (0) Daredevil (3) Advanced Sensors (3) Kyle Katarn (3) Kanan Jarrus (3) Engine Upgrade (4) Total 43 Pre-move hard turn, receive stress, execute any non-stop manoeuvre, remove stress, receive focus to make up for your lost 'perform action' step. Being able to hard turn then straight 4 or bank 3 can put the U-wing in some really unexpected spots.
  5. Pattern Analyzer and Ship Overlap

    Exactly. If Pattern Analyser gave you a "free action" and skipped the "perform action step" (like advanced sensors does), it would work. But since it's still the perform action step (albeit in a different place) it's still skipped as the result of a collision.
  6. Lightweight Frame on TIE Phantom

    It also means that those two extra dice from cloaking can be removed by "reduce your agility" effects (for example in a bizzare edge case where you have five tractor tokens), whilst lightweight frame can't. Lightweight Frame is always 'on' - you don't trigger it or discard it at the start of a round, instead it's always in play, but you check to see if you actually get to roll the extra die on an attack-by-attack basis. If a TIE phantom is attacked by a two dice attack then a three dice attack, it will get the bonus die for lightweight frame against the second but not the first. A cloaked phantom would work the same - you roll 4 dice, so if you are being attacked by 4 dice or less, it does nothing. If you are attacked by five, you'll get a bonus die
  7. Advices for Hwk-290

    Why not try a pure HWK squad? Spice Runner x 5 Synced Turret or Spice Runner x 4 Synced Turret K4 Security Droid Pulse Ray Shield But, yes, the scum & villainy HWKs are a nasty set - Palob and Torkil working together are very unpleasant to face. Or a pure rebel ace HWK-260 squad, with na'er a Twin Laser Turret in sight: Jan Ors Swarm Tactics Ezra Bridger Synced Turret Pulse Ray Shield Kyle Katarn Moldy Crow Swarm Tactics Recon Specialist Synced Turret Pulse Ray Shield Roark Garnet Maul Synced Turret
  8. Bombing Dual Firesprays

    If you want to take Emon with Experimental Interface and Mines, seriously try and find a point for Burnout SLAM. Drop Harpoon Missiles to Cruise Missiles, maybe? Being able to have a large ship pull two speed 3 moves chained together and then lob out mines with Emon's super-bombardier rule on top makes Advanced SLAM K-wings of yore weep with envy...
  9. Submit YV-666 lists!

    More or less why I like my TIE strikers - that extra hit on a Lightweight Frame TIE compared to a TIE interceptor or TIE fighter means that they survive a shot on one hit remaining a lot of the time. With 5-dice attacks (Harpoon missiles from Miranda, Fenn Rau, Cruise Missiles) and launched bombs or bomblets doing pre-damage irritatingly common around my way, it's definitely "subject to terms and conditions".... Picturing them as a Range 2-only crack shot TIE is not a bad way to think of them, actually. One other option, theoretically, is munitions fail-safes, but with lots of agility 1 targets you generally don't miss, you just don't do enough damage to matter. Might be more use against the die-hard autothruster ace brigade.
  10. Introducing...the scrub

    More or less what I was trying to say, but irritatingly much better phrased. Drat! I was trying to remember the name "Akuma", given the example of Street Fighter, and couldn't. Not being much of a Street Fighter player, I didn't know Sagat was an issue, though. Yes, there is a fair amount of comparison you can draw. "Akuma" - If a squad is just massively better such that there is no realistic counter then it is a balance issue. This would, to me, also apply if a squad can only be beaten by a squad so tailored to the job of beating you that it falls over against anything else. At the same time, I hesitate to identify anything as such a squad just by looking at rules. I'm not good enough at the game.... However, the mirror-match-finals test is a good one. The first time I came up against the "you did what now?" syndrome in wargaming was Warhammer Fantasy Battles - the first time I was ever talked into going to a throne of skulls event was just after the first Warhammer Armies Daemons was released, the top four tables all had the exact identical Daemons of Chaos army list. Yes, good players come up with good lists, and there's a bit of a mutually reinforcing loop, but in a game with as many options as a tabletop wargame, if a major competitive event has multiple mirror matches in the finals, I don't think it's unfair to suggest you've got a balance 'problem child'. "Sagat" If a squad is a 'gatekeeper' such that whilst it doesn't win games itself, it prevents any [broad squad class] making it to the cut, because if said squad comes up against it, it is at such a massive disadvantage it all but auto-loses. My obvious suggestion is the original one - TIE phantoms (back in the days of the 'quantum phantom') essentially exterminated the 4-5 ship 'heavy swarm' before being gunned down in turn by Han Solo and co. They never actually won anything much themselves, but left you in a situation where they eliminated one squad as a competitive option but weren't a competitive option themselves either, which is the worst possible outcome as it reduces the number of different squads you might see in the 'final tier' of a game. That's the point, really. Whilst I have a 'theme' or 'style' of squad I like, that's personal preference and I have no right to insist that it get a leg up to get me to the finals or regionals, or whatever. I'm supposed to do that by playing well and 'tweaking' it with new deployments, tactics, or slight modifications to the list. But a 'healthy' game should see as many different squads as possible make the top 8/16/32/whatever 'cut'. They don't have to be squads I play, or even squads I like. My preference doesn't matter. As long as they're fundamentally different to one another. My other comment on that second article is the one about 'exploits'.* Tactics is one thing - clever flying, and deployment, and so on. But there is a real question of 'at what point does a card combo you've spotted become an 'exploit'?' Snap Wexley gets a free boost. Because of intensity, that free boost becomes a free focus or evade as well. Nice, but hardly an 'unfair exploit'. Because Poe never actually spends a focus token (in normal situations) the 'intended' function of intensity (the 'exhausted' side and the flip mechanic) gets short-cut. Better, but is this an 'unfair exploit' yet? I would say no; no-one is under any illusion it shouldn't work that way? Jake Farrel's I-boost-so-focus-so-barrel-roll-so-evade-and-flip-the-card-twice-as-part-of-the-nested-actions-so-it-never-actually-gets-flipped** is relying on your reading of a specific rules interaction. At that point, I think, even if you believe it should work, that it's fair to say it's a 'rules glitch' you're exploiting. In the spirit of confession - TIE strikers have something themselves: Because you make 2 separate maneuvers, you can Adaptive Ailerons move across a debris marker, receive a stress, then execute a green move and clear the stress immediately, essentially ignoring the stress token element of a debris marker. You can only pull that off by doing a green move (and the striker's green dial is so-so at best) if the aileron move gets the front of your base clean across the token. It still leaves you with the risk of a critical. It is, nevertheless, an "exploit" and has got me focused range 1 shots that people haven't expected. Should it be allowed? Not sure. It clearly works within the rules but it does feel a bit janky. The point here is that Street fighter is a computer game. 'Computer says no' is a real thing - if you try and pull of the exploit you think you've figured out and it doesn't work, there is no court of appeal. Do the same thing in X-wing, and you may set the internet on fire for weeks, but (short of an FFG FAQ) if the logic was murky enough to make arguing it worth the time in the first place, there can be no definitive answer. I think this is my biggest problem with the entire article; the assumption that any winning tactics will be banned. People have won events without using 'that list off the internet'. Yes, trying to win by finding 'exploits' is an approach of diminishing returns because if the exploit shouldn't (in the view of the game design body) be there, it will be corrected***, but suggesting you shouldn't try as hard as you can to find tactics within the rules, or master timing (literal reflex speed, I guess, in Street Fighter, more 'ability to eyeball distances to within 0.1 bloody mm' in X-wing), or different deployments, is patronising and defeatist because it suggests the game can only be won by "breaking the rules". This is not the Kobayashi Maru scenario and your opponent is potentially just as fallible as you are. This is why when someone steamrolls you with a "combo! combo! combo!" squad that basically wins in list-building, people's response tends to be a half-hearted monty-python-esque "and there was much rejoicing", but when you pull off a "will no-one think of the paintwork!" move that somehow skirts a debris cloud and drops into a gap between two enemy ships with about 1/4 of a centimetre spare on either side, despite your irritation you can't help but respect them for it. * Before this rant starts, let me be clear: Genius/Targeting Synchroniser works. I don't see this as an 'exploit' because there is no inconsistency or lack of clarity in the sequence of rules. Something can be incredibly powerful to the point you can argue it as broken without there being any question as to whether it works. ** Let's not start arguing here about whether it does work this way. It was genuinely believed and argued for by people; that's enough for this discussion. *** Example: R4 Agromech/Deadeye. I was expecting this and not due to any view on metagame balance of Torpedo-armed Contracted Scouts but because, at the time, I flew the TIE fighter All-stars and I knew Deadeye could be used against Dark Curse, which means by default he couldn't be the defender. This wasn't a 'Nerf' in the way that essentially removing half the ship's upgrade bar was an out-and-out 'let's clobber it because we think it's too good', it was 'making you actually follow the same rules as other units in the game'.
  11. Submit YV-666 lists!

    Only observation - which is a bit of a metagame call: Z-95s explode if anyone directs anything much more than harsh language at them. This isn't a problem for Hot-Shot Headhunters like it would be for, say, cruise missile boats, because you don't have to joust - a fast bank or turn to end up vaguely near your opponent rather than in front of them is the order of the day (aside from autothruster-equipped foes, where you're probably best off treating the blaster as a two-shot in-arc weapon if you can). If the Z-95s are flanking, the YV-666 is by default cast in the role of 'anvil' to go up the centre - a role it's well suited for, being tough. Since a Trandoshan Slaver has its need for focus tokens more than satisfied for the first two turns by Jabba feeding it all the drugs, the only thing it has to do with its action for the first two rounds of combat is target lock, meaning Dengar's rerolls may be unneeded. In this case, you could freely swap Dengar for Countermeasures - Countermeasures backed up by Glitterstim can really cut the sting of high(er) PS missile squads; one attacker loses their target lock, and 2-dice-with-focus is a reliable one-and-a-bit-evades against each incoming attack.
  12. Which is the better TAP swarm?

    (Yay for swarms!) The TIE advanced Prototype is an interesting ship. Like the TIE/fo, it only packs a 2-dice attack, but it's got one of the best dials out there (arguably superior to the TIE interceptor), ischeap enough to pack a fair wodge of extra kit and still have 5 ships on the board - and if you only want a single missile volley, it's got to be one of the most cost-efficient carriers going. I'll warn you that with only 4 ships, you'll really start to feel the loss of firepower compared to an Interceptor. [Note: I'm assuming you're equipping the TIE/v1 title on each ship] Autothrusters, squad tracers, and Juke XX-23 S-Thread Tracers are a great little asset but actually not all that useful for a TIE Adv. Swarm because they pair badly with TIE/v1 - you acquire a target lock, and hence trigger TIE/v1 to get an evade, but in a world where people regularly whine that "PS9 isn't enough", it's a fair assumption that you'll receive your evade token after everyone else has fired, meaning you get no defensive benefit from it. Juke is nice, but if you're planning to fire thread tracers, you're giving up one attack, and juke only really benefits you on the second and subsequent attacks (because barring Omega Leader, Carnor Jax and so on, the first attack just forces the target to spend a focus token) - meaning you're not getting a huge amount of punch, even with focus/target locked shots. You've got a grand total of 8 attack dice - I've not flown TIE Adv but I've used TIE/fo a lot, and that's frankly not enough. The fact that even with all four ships concentrating fire, a VT-49 Decimator or VCX-100 Ghost can literally just take all the damage you can hand out for 2-3 turns of continuous pounding is a real issue. At the same time, a TIE Adv. with Autothrusters is hella tough for its points. Basically, good squad idea, but I don't think the extra cost for Thread Tracers, Juke, and Baron of the Empire is justified - 5 TIE/v1, Autothruster-equipped Seinar Test Pilots I can see doing well. Cruise Missiles, Juke, and Adaptability or Trick Shot I'm assuming 'Juke' is meant to be autothrusters here. Adaptability is....erm. The Baron of the Empire is PS4 - going from PS4 to PS5 is a nice-to-have, but essentially you're talking about spending 3 points - and losing a ship - to go from PS2 to PS5. I guess it might be worth it if you fight Rho squadron gunboats or Lok Revenant scurrgs a lot, but it strikes me as bugger all use against 90% of opponents. Trick Shot - if you're carrying missiles, ideally you probably want an unobstructed shot, because the point of missiles is to get a kill early. This is a nasty force at range 3 - theoretically you've got 4 5-dice cruise missile shots and you can ignore the return fire with 4 green dice, autothrusters and a TIE/v1 evade token. In reality, it's unlikely to work that well - to get an 'ideal' shot with cruise missiles you're locked into a speed 4/5 straight, and then you need to be in range to target lock, and then you need to still be in range 2-3 in arc after the enemy has moved. That's really awkward in practice - if you pull a speed 4 straight and I do likewise (let's assume I'm in a ship which doesn't have a speed 5 straight or boost) I can go from out of range 3 turn to range 1 the next really, really easily. If you really want to try 4 cruise missile/autothruster armed ships, I'd seriously consider dumping TIE/v1 and taking Deadeye instead. Firstly, it comes in the TIE Adv packet, and secondly, it massively increases the flexibility of the missile strike that is basically going to represent the win/lose moment of the game for the squad. With autothrusters you can, at long range, live without the evade token, and after the missiles are gone hopefully you should have taken a big enough chunk out of the enemy not to need it. Cruise Missiles, Guidance Chips, and Juke Basically as above, swapping autothrusters to guidance chips. Juke and TIE/v1 is a nice pairing, but remember that you're paying 3 points to upgrade a Seinar Test Pilot to a Baron of the Empire, and 2 to give him Juke - in short, you're swapping 5 TIE/v1s with Cruise Missiles and Guidance Chips for 4 TIE/v1s with Cruise Missiles and Guidance Chips, in return for giving them juke. Is Juke really that great to give up a ship for? Bear in mind you're still going to have the acquiring-target-locks-on-higher-PS-pilots issue that you had with the squad above, but if your 'big trick' is Juke, you're not going to be able to use Deadeye to short-cut the PS wars. TIE Adv with Proton Rockets don't have this problem.... Juke and TIE/v1 is a much more capable combination for the post-missile dogfight, but again, no matter how many shenanigans you attach to those red dice, the fact that you've only got 4 2-dice attacks is likely to hurt you in the long run. Short version: If you want to try a different 5-ship squad: Sienar Test Pilot x 5 TIE/v1 XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (because you might as well if you've got the point spare) Autothrusters or Sienar Test Pilot x 5 TIE/v1 Cruise Missiles Guidance Chips Or if you really, really want to try a 4-ship squad Baron Of The Empire x 4 Deadeye Cruise Missiles Autothrusters
  13. Introducing...the scrub

    Street Fighter is a bit of a simplistic example (because you have one character, with no options, so there is a case of 'pick a character who suits your playstyle' but no 'squadbuilding'), but - ultimately, yes. I do limit myself by "self-imposed rules": This is not chess, or poker, or go. It is a 'Star Wars' miniature game - a setting to which I have an emotional connection from films, computer games, comics and books I do not have an emotional bias to 'black', or 'diamonds'. By comparison, I do have a bias which makes me want to fly Imperial squads, and which makes me not like the idea of mixing eras (so I'll happily fly a First Order squad, or a Galactic Empire squad, but Rear Admiral Chiraneau with Kylo Ren aboard irks me a bit). Would I refuse to play against such a squad? Of course not. But would I play such a squad myself? No. There is an element there which that article doesn't cover - not least because proportionally, there is far less discussion of tactics than list-building (because it's a lot easier to discuss lists on a text forum than tactics) I accept that self-imposed rule may put me at a disadvantage against that list off the internet. But there's a difference between refusing to use a given squad for fluffy reasons/self-imposed rules, and not trying to master the options of the squad you have taken. Learning tactics and how different deployments and openings with the same squad affect how you play against different squads is, to me, 'gitting gud'. If you and your gaming group have genuinely played multiple games, with different tactics, and tried to learn or develop different approaches to deal with a squad and you still can't figure out an approach, then, you are allowed to consider there is a problem with balance. That doesn't give you the right to look down on people who do use it because they want to actually win a game, but nor does it give the players who do the right to look down on those who refuse to because they don't use that squad, because for reasons of fluff or gameplay, they don't find it fun to use. Or, to put it another way:
  14. Talonbane help.

    Don't forget that if you take Cloaking Device, you can also equip Stygium Particle Accelerator for a point - it's risky (because it becomes useless once the cloak breaks down) but starting with an evade and never taking the damage can be better than regenerating it afterwards.
  15. There's no way a Y-Wing outflies a Gunboat, Right?

    I've wondered about it myself. On the one hand, if you're relying on range 1 for damage, an autoblaster turret is arguably better (and cheaper) but massed 2-dice attacks isn't worthless, especially against the agility 1 ships you see a lot of. A big problems are that: the Flight Assist Astromech is actually pretty badly suited to 'in your face' tactics because whilst it's a free boost or barrel roll (an awesome deal for 1 point, and doubly so on the moves-like-a-cow Y-wing) the one thing it doesn't let you do is boost from range 3 into range 2, or range 2 into range 1. If you can set up a somewhat shonky off-axis approach and then boost/turn in at the last minute, it could work. Rebel Y-wings lack Elite upgrades and R4 Agromechs or Overlocked R4s - whilst 2 3-dice attacks are pretty brutal, they're not actually delivering that much firepower without modification on both attacks - meaning in practice you probably have less punch than 2 12-point TIE fighters flying side-by-side. If I was going to try and make Flight Assist Y-wings work, I'd probably look to the following thoughts: You can field a Gold Squadron Pilot with BTL-A4 Y-wing, Flight Assist Astromech, and an Ion Cannon Turret in a four-off squad fairly easily. Ion fire is a good antidote to the Mirandas, Nyms and Norra Wexleys of the world, and the limit to their manoeuvrability combined with your flight assist shenanigans means the manoeuvring battle should be in favour of the Y-wings. If you have spare points, consider Bomb Loadout and mines. A Flight Assist Astromech Y-wing is not an Advanced SLAM K-wing, but it's surprisingly close - pull your manoeuvre, execute a free boost or barrel roll, and then in your perform action step you can spend an action to lay cluster mines, connor nets or proximity mines. If you have a 4-ship list, there may be an argument for having one or more seismic torpedoes in your squad - being able to clear an unexpected path (and possibly blat your opponent for the odd point of damage) might cause a serious shift in the balance of the game if it allows you to change an obstructed range 2 shot (2 red dice versus 2 green dice, twice) to an unobstructed range 1 shot (3 red dice versus 1 green dice, twice).