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Des Darklighter

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  1. Like
    Des Darklighter reacted to Dalli in Hot Rod - The Decimator lives!   
    Some people know me. Im the guy who plays the imperial junk (Backdraft, Deathfire, OL and DC) in Top 8 SOS in Germany 2017, or Kylo Kath in some German Regional cuts 2018, or the Reaper-Countdown-Volso List two times in the Hyperspace cuts this season - all mentioned by american podcast - for example the mynocks. (Yes - it was always the same guy) Now I played again some kind of underastimeted list as well as for the last 5 years. Business as usual. A Decimator in a kind of old school list with Whisper. Branded as unplayable (some threats call for buffing the Decimator or some elements in that List and so on - It is a good index for this general view). When I was made aware of this by some German players and asked to translate my articles for you, I agreed. Maybe you are interested. Thank you Mark for helping me translate this one.
    Hot Rod
    I am tinkering around with the Decimator since October 2018. I bugged Steffen Kähler (some of you know him because aof the worlds), other well know German tournament players as well as my team members shortly after the release of 2.0 with my ideas. Earlier this year I wrote an article “Ode to Decimator” in the German X-Wing Forum (so far only available in German; http://www.moseisleyraumhafen.com/t18286-taktik-eine-ode-an-den-decimator#297984) explaining why the ship is – other than a lot of people think – not a **** ship and basically “dead on arrival” but a viable option in 2.0 for all the Imperial Admirals out there.  Now, around half a year later and after being constantly challenged to “play it in a big tournament if it is that good” I had to turn my ideas into a viable squad for a tournament. 
    On top, I had to come up with a squad not only for myself, but also for my team mate Enno; he committed way before me to bring a Decimator to the SOS in Hannover; eventually he went with RAC and Soontir. A little bit of fine-tuning and a couple of tough matches later his squad was set. At this point and time I was still playing a Sloane swarm and I was undecided whether to stick to it or to play with a Decimator as well. Nine test games later the squad was unbeaten (some of the games I won 200:0) and I was truly surprised by its performance. And when Jack Mooney on top of that won the SOS in Milton Keynes with Han/Jake I was sure that a Decimator squad is able to do this as well.
    Composition
     
    I came up with the name of the squad after the SOS due to the feedback I received and the obvious functionalities of it. The ships in the squad are well known, they are fast and tuned to the max. And thanks to Moff Jerjerrod they are even faster than what you would normally expect from Whisper and a Decimator.
    Well known, fast and tuned to the max: Hot Rod
    ·         Whisper (54)
    o   Juke (5)
    o   Fifth Brother (9)
    o   Stealth Device (6)
     
     
    ·         Rear Admiral Chiraneau (80)
    o    Lone Wolf (5)
    o    Darth Vader (14)
    o    Moff Jerjerrod (10)
    o    Veteran Turret Gunner (6)
    o    Proton Bombs (5)
    o    Hull Upgrade (2)
    o    Dauntless (4)
    Total: 200
    https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v6!s=200!199:123,,82,166:;214:124,,26,50,90,69,164,147:&sn=Hot%20Rod&obs=


    Functionalities
    The most components are more or less obvious. However, the there are elements and synergies that you might not get right away, hence a closer look is needed. Most important: both ships have initiative 5; for flying and triggering the abilities it is crucial to have the same initiative.
    Moff Jerjerrod: Combinations and tactical concepts
     
    The core of the squad is Moff Jerjerrod. His abilities allows all friendly ships to perform a red boost action during the system phase. The possibility to reposition before all other ships move doesn’t sound that great at first, especially when you look at the conditions and the price: the boost is a red action, you have to choose and pick the same direction for all ships, you can only trigger it every second round and it costs 10 points. 
    However, it makes the Decimator (and especially Whisper) faster, even more less predictable and gives the option to fly around obstacles easier (instead to fly with a 3 bank-left (white) onto an asteroid you do a 1 straight boost (red) and then turn in with a 1 bank-left (blue)). So it is all about to broaden the engage/disengage possibilities. Especially the Decimator is able to get back into action more quickly after disengaging due to the additional boost provide due Moff Jerjerrod.

    Same goes for Whisper: she is even faster and more flexible than she already is: Decloak 2 forward (white), boost 1 left (red), fly 3 straight (blue) and then do a barrel roll; hard to see this coming. This example as well as other combinations turns the Phantom suddenly to one of the fastest ships in the game. It is also great to avoid getting trapped between obstacles and enemy ships: just do a boost and you are good to go. It is not as good as collision detector, but pretty useful nonetheless. Downside with the last mention option (boost to avoid being trapped) is that you might not get the auto evade token when you decloak due to the stress. However, you still can get it back using the regular action; and thanks to Fifth Brother and his Force token you are still “tokend up” sufficiently. In other words: most of the time it doesn’t matter whether you boost before or after you decloak (again: the importance of the same initiative of both pilots).
    Also, as both ships can move within the system phase (Whisper even twice) they can set a block before other ships move (you can say at initiative 0). Especially the big base of the Decimator makes him more resistant to blocks but, at the same time transform him into an efficient blocker himself: due to the boost he is able to move before initiative 4 ships to counter-block them (blocking the blockers). Another tactical component for this scenario is the proton bomb, which can be placed either before or after the Decimator uses the boost action. The imminent danger is quite often enough to force enemy aces or swarms to disengage, and it keeps the stern of the ship protected. The possibility of being blocked or facing a bomb often means that the opposing ships won’t have an action respectively a token: bombs have to be outmaneuvered using a barrel roll or a boost and being blocked means that you lose your action. In the very end all this plays into the hands of Whipsers’ Juke and Vader (Crew) (both are synergizing on their own very well already).
    Standard Tactic
    The Decimator is a tank, he wants to get into range 1 to shred enemy ships into pieces. He can either overlap ships with a lower initiative or set block; both is in his favor. Chiraneau with Vader (Crew) works a bit like the old Oicunn: as soon as the ship is in the arc of the Decimator it will get a damage from Vader. Thanks to the Moff and the Dauntless title you are able to set blocks respectively bump into enemy ships and get an action nonetheless pretty easy. This way the Decimator won’t get shot at, but deals damage; and Whisper will take care of the rest. The combination of the re-enforce action and Vader (Crew) makes the Decimator effective in the offense as well as in the defense. On top: both ships can generate a lot of Crits due Chiraneaus’ ability and Fifth Brother on Whisper. The games I have won with this squad were always pretty high points wise; a lot of them were even 200:0… even against squads where I wouldn’t have expected such a result at all. I wasn’t able to pull something like that off with another squad in 2.0 and I wouldn’t have expected to pull something like this off with a Decimator.
    The Decimator is a good choice also with regards to the current Meta: Juke, Out-Maneuver or Crack Shot don’t matter for a re-enforced Decimator. Once he is engaged in a dog fight, he simply tries to overlap/bump/block; the Dauntless title will provide the action he needs to then deal out massive damage to the ships he is not touching.
    In case the Decimator is going down he should have done his job by getting rid of the crucial element in the opponents’ squad. Whisper is an highly efficient (and annoying) late game ship that should be able to finish the game (potentially by just surviving to deny the victory points)

    Upgrades:
    Lone Wolf: A two-ship-squad including a Phantom might be the only set up to use this upgrade optimally… thanks to the movement options of the Phantom of course. It will boost the offensive output of the Decimator (action should be used for the re-enforce and you can potentially modify a focus using the Force token from Vader) and even could be useful when being shot at (especially from range 3).
    Dauntless: It’s a must have if you follow the standard tactic (overlap/bump/block) as you are not using Tua to get the re-enforce token. Goal is to ram other ships to deny them the attack on you and, at the same time, engage the remaining enemy ships. 
    Veteran Turret Gunner: It’s very helpful against squads with multiple ships that don’t have a lot of defensive dice; doing more than 4 damage in a round is likely. However, it doesn’t trigger often but when it does, it will hurt. It’s also a great tool against squads with a lot of hit points like Four K-Wings, Rebel Beef, etc.
    Hull Upgrad: It’s simple: Re-enforce turns the Decimator into a tank, having another hull makes him even harder to kill. More detailed information (with some math) can be found in my initial article on the Decimator (see link above)
    Vader: As described, he is the jack-of-all trades on the Decimator. He will make sure that you will deal damage, whether directly or indirect by taking away tokens from the opponent ship. Vader finished a ship in every second game I played, without getting Whisper or the Decimator directly involved. He is one of the best Crew options you can get.
    Stealth Device (Whisper): Ideally Whisper has a Focus, two Evades and potentially a Force token when being attacked. That amount of tokens and three green defensive dice makes it difficult to kill her; when being cloaked you even have 7 green dice. In all games I have played I only lost Whisper twice. The good thing is (or bad thing if you have to face this squad): you can’t ignore the Decimator, but also can’t ignore Whisper as she is a beast in the late game. Whisper is the defensive counter-part to the Decimator: no green dice vs. „too many“. This conceptual interplay between the ships and the difficulty for the opponent to set a target priority makes the squad very balanced.

    Conclusion:
    When you follow the described tactics there are not a lot of other squads that will give you trouble. No matter the matchup, you have at least one tool in your box to be able to deal with it. I personally don’t like to joust my opponent’s squad directly, even though it would be the best option most of the time. Squads that deal a lot of Crits as well as using jam actions are to most challenging matchups for the Hot Rod, however they are not unbeatable. This is also the reason why I will stick to this squad for the extended format for the time being. I was able to get into the top 16 at the SOS Hannover and almost made it into the top 8. The overall performance of the squad makes me confident that I could have made it even further that day.
    Therefore: Stand firm! The Decimator is not ****. The Decimator is not dead!
  2. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from gadwag in Help me build an Imperial list   
    Vader- FCS, afterburners (73)
    Soontir- predator (54)
    Whisper- juke, fifth brother (68)
    Total 195
    If you want a bigger bid to guarantee moving last against aces, you can drop afterburners or fifth brother.
  3. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from Odanan in Inert Fat Han   
    Winning isn’t the issue. While there are lists like quad phantoms that are undercosted and have ridiculous win and cut rates, the ID/R2/Kanan combo is straight up an NPE. The ability to choose from so many options with perfect board knowledge and still get full mods is exactly what 2.0 strived to avoid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ffg drops the illicit slot from the ship (and hopefully all non-scum ships) in the coming weeks.
  4. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from dingo with a joint in Inert Fat Han   
    Winning isn’t the issue. While there are lists like quad phantoms that are undercosted and have ridiculous win and cut rates, the ID/R2/Kanan combo is straight up an NPE. The ability to choose from so many options with perfect board knowledge and still get full mods is exactly what 2.0 strived to avoid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ffg drops the illicit slot from the ship (and hopefully all non-scum ships) in the coming weeks.
  5. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from Rodafowa in Inert Fat Han   
    Winning isn’t the issue. While there are lists like quad phantoms that are undercosted and have ridiculous win and cut rates, the ID/R2/Kanan combo is straight up an NPE. The ability to choose from so many options with perfect board knowledge and still get full mods is exactly what 2.0 strived to avoid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ffg drops the illicit slot from the ship (and hopefully all non-scum ships) in the coming weeks.
  6. Thanks
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from Tlfj200 in Inert Fat Han   
    Winning isn’t the issue. While there are lists like quad phantoms that are undercosted and have ridiculous win and cut rates, the ID/R2/Kanan combo is straight up an NPE. The ability to choose from so many options with perfect board knowledge and still get full mods is exactly what 2.0 strived to avoid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ffg drops the illicit slot from the ship (and hopefully all non-scum ships) in the coming weeks.
  7. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from JJ48 in Inert Fat Han   
    Winning isn’t the issue. While there are lists like quad phantoms that are undercosted and have ridiculous win and cut rates, the ID/R2/Kanan combo is straight up an NPE. The ability to choose from so many options with perfect board knowledge and still get full mods is exactly what 2.0 strived to avoid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ffg drops the illicit slot from the ship (and hopefully all non-scum ships) in the coming weeks.
  8. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from Punning Pundit in [Wave IV] HD spreads for N1, Resistance Transport & Hyena   
    The N-1 looks really interesting. I like the emphasis on speed for the ships. From what I can tell, the I5 pilot lets you roll an extra die when attacking and defending if your maneuver was faster and the I3 pilot stops your opponent from modifying dice if your maneuver was the same speed. 
    Also, R2-A6 is going to be great, giving Ved Foslo’s ability to the entire Republic. I can already see the shenanigans with Saesee Tiin.
  9. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from TheHumanHydra in New Pilot Ideas   
    Obviously Fel’s Wrath and backstabber need to come back.
    I would also love to see a Rogue Squadron expansion with Corran, Wes, and Tycho (among others) in X-Wings. However, this is legends so it’ll probably never happen. One can always hope.
  10. Like
    Des Darklighter got a reaction from Punning Pundit in New Pilot Ideas   
    Obviously Fel’s Wrath and backstabber need to come back.
    I would also love to see a Rogue Squadron expansion with Corran, Wes, and Tycho (among others) in X-Wings. However, this is legends so it’ll probably never happen. One can always hope.
  11. Haha
    Des Darklighter reacted to Roller of blanks in Invisible (phantom diss track)   
    *sick beat starts*
     
    Yuh, yuh, ayy.
     
    Quick to deploy, quick to cloak,
    They using phantoms like they never gon' choke
    They ain't no boogieman...
    Yeah they ain't broke
    But I got a couple gripes just out of spite 
    Gonna em' spit out now while my bars are ripe
     
    Three hull two shields, it ain't no match...
    For the wedge I wield...
    So take a step back
     
    When you drop the cloak and try to shoot
    1 agility cause' of wedge
    You got the boot!
     
    You wanna cloak? You got no shot
    And imma drop those phantoms like flys 
    Like I drop bars this hot
    And Imma race through the skies, 
    With my T-65s
    Wedge, luke, Lando
    You won't survive
    I know lando ain't flying no X-wing 
    But he lets his other two bros
    Cut through phantoms like X-rays
     
    You brought phantoms to a tourney?
    We'll boot you back to armada
    Cause we got that metagame rage
    And we gonna dish out hot karma
    Your phantoms are like essential oils
    And we're like big pharma
    When one guy sees em' he'll sound the alarma
     
    Oh, how cute
    You got four copies of juke
    Let's see how that goes
    When you shoot my boy luke
    Yeah my bars are more fire
    Then a console fire crit
    All it takes is one bad roll
    And a sigma's cockpit is lit
    (Though still not as hot as the bars that I spit)
    I see that evade action
    It won't get you much traction 
    When you spend it on defence
    You don't get good offense 
    I mean, just take a focus,
    All it is is common sense!
    I see such foolishness
    And It makes me wince.
    I don't think there's much more
    I can do to convince
    That you need to swap out ya phantoms 
    For an actually f****** list
  12. Like
    Des Darklighter reacted to Punning Pundit in New Article - See more of the Galaxy   
    2020 world championship is going to be Heroes of the Aturi Cluster.
    You want it. I want it. Everyone wants it.
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