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AdmiralThrawn

Headhunter vs. Tie Fighter

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So now that we have pretty much all we need to know about the Headhunter, we can now compare it to the tie fighter. They both have 2 attack, both are cheapest at 12 points, but which will be more useful, and which will make a better swarm?

 

In my opinion, the tie is still more powerful. Their swarm obviously is better because they have Howlrunner, and I believe that the extra defense dice greatly makes up for not having the extra hull point on the Headhunter (similar to how in my opinion stealth device is better than shield or hull upgrade). The tie has more green maneuvers, more K turn options, more maneuverability with barrel roll, the evade action, and more unique and generic pilot options. Also, without the missile slot in my opinion, there is no pressure to upgrade them with a secondary weapon to give them more firepower. I will admit though that the Headhunter has an advantage because it has shields as opposed to hull, so they will not suffer from crits as often as ties do.

 

But that's just my thoughts on the subject, lets see what the rest of you think!

Edited by AdmiralThrawn

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I think that having the ability to target-lock will benefit the Z-95 immenseley. The Tie is generally more useful, because functionally it is a better ship almost every way, bu between TL and the ability to move 1 forward I like the z-95 better. And those pilot abilities are pretty amazing.

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I don't think a 7 or 8 Z-95 swarm is going to work that well, not with these pilots and that dial. At least not as well as the Tie Swarm does.

I do think however that the Z-95 is going to be the natural counter to the Tie Swarm because 5 of them can make very effective use of the assault missile, which goes a fair distance to making Howlrunner much less effective.

If you can't keep your swarm packed together you lose pretty much all the boost that Howl offers, but if you cluster up so she can have an impact, you run the risk of losing all your Ties with a Assault Missile alpha.

Between Blount and Arien dishing out 3 splash damage with Assault Missiles has become a lot easier to do.

The real question IMO is how does the 5-6 Z-95 list do against other list types, like say the 3 Firespray list, or Doomcow. What about bombers, and the like. Or the XXBB list?

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I don't really see the Z95 as a swarm fighter.  It's far to slow and not nearly evasive enough for such things. I feel that they are designed more as mobile missle platforms.  While the lowly cluster missle doesn't get alot of face time anymore, and the release article points out the obvious advantages of the assault missle, I think it will be interesting to see lists featuring more 4-5 man wings than full on swarms.  It'll be a combined arms tactic as opposed to an overwhelming force.

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SD is worse then shield and hull, I believe Khyros does the number crunch.

 

The problem with SD is your paying 3 points for an ability that could work Wonders, or be a complete waste of points. 

 

I find this game, and which i believe is also proven my Khyros' number crunching is that its an offensive game. 

 

The better offensive you have the better off you will most likely be. 

 

Its much easier to get hits on a red die then evades on the green die. 

 

Ties have alot more synergy with howl, But they still die with enough focus fire. 

 

Its a dice game, anything could happen. I think three Z 95's with Assault missiles will beat a tie swarm in one volley of Fire If it were best case scenario on both sides. But this is just theory Wing  (almost said hammer = /) I dont think youll be seeing 7 or 8 Z 95's but youll probably see them as fillers in 4 -5 rebel ship builds. 

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I don't generally think this will be better than a TIE swarm with Howl.  But if you build out a Z-95 Swarm with Airen & Squad leader that gives you 7 ships and room for some upgrades to boot.  (Not forgetting the two extra actions per round.)  You could throw in a missle upgrade or a couple of hull upgrades.  The shields do add that extra bit of crit saving defence so they have that going for them.  The real downside with this list other than the two defence dice is the maneuver dial.  It's good but no where near as flexible as the TIE.  So it'll be a change in methodology over flying a TIE swarm but no less fun. 

Edited by Kwaad

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I don't think a 7 or 8 Z-95 swarm is going to work that well, not with these pilots and that dial. At least not as well as the Tie Swarm does.

I do think however that the Z-95 is going to be the natural counter to the Tie Swarm because 5 of them can make very effective use of the assault missile, which goes a fair distance to making Howlrunner much less effective.

If you can't keep your swarm packed together you lose pretty much all the boost that Howl offers, but if you cluster up so she can have an impact, you run the risk of losing all your Ties with a Assault Missile alpha.

Between Blount and Arien dishing out 3 splash damage with Assault Missiles has become a lot easier to do.

The real question IMO is how does the 5-6 Z-95 list do against other list types, like say the 3 Firespray list, or Doomcow. What about bombers, and the like. Or the XXBB list?

 

I think that a 4-5 headhunter list won't be very effective against lists other than the tie swarm, because they have low agility, hull, shields, and the assault missiles won't hurt other lists with less ships as much

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SD is worse then shield and hull, I believe Khyros does the number crunch.

 

The problem with SD is your paying 3 points for an ability that could work Wonders, or be a complete waste of points. 

 

I find this game, and which i believe is also proven my Khyros' number crunching is that its an offensive game. 

 

The better offensive you have the better off you will most likely be. 

 

Its much easier to get hits on a red die then evades on the green die. 

 

Ties have alot more synergy with howl, But they still die with enough focus fire. 

 

Its a dice game, anything could happen. I think three Z 95's with Assault missiles will beat a tie swarm in one volley of Fire If it were best case scenario on both sides. But this is just theory Wing  (almost said hammer = /) I dont think youll be seeing 7 or 8 Z 95's but youll probably see them as fillers in 4 -5 rebel ship builds. 

 

I agree that is one strategy to take, and possibly the safer one, I just am a fan of the high risk, high reward factor involved in taking stealth device, and that's why I think it's better. That's why I enjoy Han Solo's ability and interceptors so much

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and the assault missiles won't hurt other lists with less ships as much

But less ships, like say X-Wings or B-Wings are more likely to suffer more hits from the assault missiles. Lets say you're flying against 3 Firesprays. Even if you can't catch them in the AoE, you're still likely to do 2-3 damage per missile, that's 8-12 damage from a alpha, enough to take out any one firespray.

What will be interesting is what effect this will have on the tournament meta. Could it be that the threat of the 5-6 Z-95 Assault Missile list would be enough make swarms less attractive, kinda like the Double Falcon does to Interceptors.

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and the assault missiles won't hurt other lists with less ships as much

But less ships, like say X-Wings or B-Wings are more likely to suffer more hits from the assault missiles. Lets say you're flying against 3 Firesprays. Even if you can't catch them in the AoE, you're still likely to do 2-3 damage per missile, that's 8-12 damage from a alpha, enough to take out any one firespray.

What will be interesting is what effect this will have on the tournament meta. Could it be that the threat of the 5-6 Z-95 Assault Missile list would be enough make swarms less attractive, kinda like the Double Falcon does to Interceptors.

 

I definitely think that Blount + Assaults is a beautiful amount of Anti-swarm, and he's also anti-Stealth Device as well, hurting Howlrunner swarms particularly.

Also, Cracken + Clusters + Munition Failsafe is definitely an astonishing pilot. Two attacks a turn means he deals out 2 actions a turn. Hopefully you do nothing with your attack, so you can do those actions several times!

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Since I saw the 12 point valve for the z95s I started to wonder about this a lot.

Will the extra hp or extra def win out, seeing it would take two rounds of atk for each to destroy the other?

Will 5 z95s with assault missiles crash a Tie swarm?

This is going to be good to see it play out later this year. I can't wait for worlds to see what happens when they meet.

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and the assault missiles won't hurt other lists with less ships as much

But less ships, like say X-Wings or B-Wings are more likely to suffer more hits from the assault missiles. Lets say you're flying against 3 Firesprays. Even if you can't catch them in the AoE, you're still likely to do 2-3 damage per missile, that's 8-12 damage from a alpha, enough to take out any one firespray.

What will be interesting is what effect this will have on the tournament meta. Could it be that the threat of the 5-6 Z-95 Assault Missile list would be enough make swarms less attractive, kinda like the Double Falcon does to Interceptors.

 

I definitely think that Blount + Assaults is a beautiful amount of Anti-swarm, and he's also anti-Stealth Device as well, hurting Howlrunner swarms particularly.

Also, Cracken + Clusters + Munition Failsafe is definitely an astonishing pilot. Two attacks a turn means he deals out 2 actions a turn. Hopefully you do nothing with your attack, so you can do those actions several times!

 

That's a pretty sweet idea

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and the assault missiles won't hurt other lists with less ships as much

But less ships, like say X-Wings or B-Wings are more likely to suffer more hits from the assault missiles. Lets say you're flying against 3 Firesprays. Even if you can't catch them in the AoE, you're still likely to do 2-3 damage per missile, that's 8-12 damage from a alpha, enough to take out any one firespray.

What will be interesting is what effect this will have on the tournament meta. Could it be that the threat of the 5-6 Z-95 Assault Missile list would be enough make swarms less attractive, kinda like the Double Falcon does to Interceptors.

 

 

Good point, I didn't consider that less ships meant assault missiles eliminate the enemy faster

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Everyone seems to be looking at the headhunter as a swarm ship, and measuring it against that metric, when I am really seeing TIEs as the better swarm ship and headhunters as the better filler ship if you want to squeeze in another body with limited points.

They are both going to shine in different areas and different roles so it isn't a straight up comparison.

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The preview even says, straight up, and I quote,
"The fact that the Z-95 is designed to play a support role can’t be overstated. Though the Bandit Squadron Pilot doesn’t cost any more squad points than the Imperial’s Academy Pilot, the ship isn’t designed for the same type of swarm tactics at which the TIE fighter excels."

 

I think there's a natural but very mistaken temptation to go "well this is 12 points, and this is 12 points, so let's compare them, apples to apples, and see which is better."  That doesn't work, because they have the same cost but very different purposes; very different functions within a squad.

 

Royal Guard Interceptor and a B-wing both cost 22 points - I know the knee jerk reaction in the current meta is to declare the B-wing "better," but the truth is they fill very different roles, and fly like polar opposites.  OGP Lamda and a Rookie X-wing are both 21 points - which is better?  Again, very, very different ships - the Lambda is a big, slow, versatile support ship, the X-wing is a well-rounded frontline fighter.

 

Just because the cheapest TIE and the cheapest Headhunter share a point cost, it's a mistake to compare the Z95 directly to the TIE - it's not an Academy Pilot, it's not trying to be an Academy Pilot, and if you try and FLY it like an Academy Pilot, of course you're going to be disappointed with its performance.

 

I've said it before - you can throw a fish up into a tree.  That doesn't mean you get to declare it a really crappy squirrel.

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One thought here is to compare the Z-95 to the X-Wing. The dial is more or less the same but with one hitpoint less and it won't hit as hard. Certainly if you're swarming with the Z-95s, they'll shoot after an Imperial swarm does and so can't take attackers away. But X-wing's dont always crumble to massed fire from TIE Fighters and they aren't always reduced to 1 or 0 hit points when facing up to a swarm. Not at agility 2, which gives them a reasonable chance at surviving.

 

I think the lower agility will be the Achilles' heel of the Z-95 because it won't be able to shrug off damage like TIE Fighters can. But it could be close, and I can see Z-95s being successful follow-ons to an ace like Wedge. So while the TIEs are chasing Wedge the Z-95s have free shots, or vice-versa.

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One thought here is to compare the Z-95 to the X-Wing. The dial is more or less the same but with one hitpoint less and it won't hit as hard. 

 

Interesting and good point…and something that could be potentially deduced from this is the cost of +1 attack die…take a Z-95, add a hull upgrade, (15 points), and then it's 6 points to an X-wing, or 6 points for +1 firepower.  (unless you believe that FFG raised the price of the Z's and Ties by 1 to make sure you can't have 9 ships), in which case it's 7 points for 3 FP.

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The Problem with the TIE has always been how fast they die.  Well I think we just found a ship that will die faster.  2 attack dice no defensive actions except for focus, and only 1 more hit that a TIE.  Granted a TIE is still more likely to be one shot-ed.  I haven't run the math but I think we will find that the Z-95 will still die faster.

 

The Target Lock isn't the boon that people think.  from a straight expected number of hits perspective, Focus is just as good as target lock.  Target Lock is useful manly in two ways 1- stacking with focus, either from extra actions or from the fact that the TL stays from turn to turn. and 2- shooting missiles and torpedoes.  The TL on the Z-95 is clearly there to help it shoot missiles. 

TL also suffers on low PS ships, so this discourages swarms of Z-95's

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My analysis is that the TIE is the better universal craft, the Z-95 offers a few distinct niche uses (namely, cheap filler to support elite pilots and cheap alpha strike potential). All upgrades aside, I would bet on equal number of TIEs taking out an equal number of Headhunters. TIE's have speed, agility, and dial advantage, while Headhunters have the extra HP, missile slot and edge in pilot skill. Both sides have some nice upper level pilots, though both Blount and Cracken are in Howlrunner's shadow.

 

Overall, Z-95's a nice little cheap ship, but I like the TIE's better without upgrades and a hair better when you start throwing on missile points. Z's will start to appear in Han lists or the like, throwing a few more bodies or an alpha strike to support a nasty combo, and they'll thrive in that role.

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To think of the Z95 as a swarm ship is folly. It will play a similar role as the A wings, but will serve better as a wing man than a rabbit. A Tie swarm would chew up and spit out a Z95 swarm. But, X wings, supported by Z95s would be much harder for a swarm to deal with...

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One thing I am curious about, is whether or not FFG will openly admit that they made a mistake designing the Tie fighter. 

"This is a ship destined to shake up the tournament scene. For just twenty-two points, you can equip Lieutenant Blount with Assault Missiles and give Imperial swarms a reason to reconsider flying in formation."

 

Okay... so... you didn't plan for people to use the Tie fighters as a swarm. Any other ships/pilots that blatantly address a tournament list? Is there going to be a ship/pilot saying something like:

 

"This is a ship destined to shake up the tournament scene. For just twenty-two points, you can equip [Random Pilot] with [Random Weapon] and give Rebel XXBB Builds a reason to reconsider flying that build."

 

Kind of a lame example, but you get my point. 

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Okay... so... you didn't plan for people to use the Tie fighters as a swarm.

 

More like "we didn't intend for people to be able to use TIE fighters in a giant blob that never suffers any penalty for sitting next to their powerful buff pilot". You can still take a swarm, you just have to think more about how you deploy and maneuver it instead of just throwing Howlrunner and a giant ball of TIEs in the general direction of the enemy and letting your superior math win the game.

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The TIE is the better swarm ship. 

 

The headhunter is a great cheap missile deliver system

 

Both can be support ships with the right unique pilot. Both have their role

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