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That One Guy

Ion Cannon on Defender in Non-Epic Setting

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I wish to hopefully start some discussion on the merits of different cannon upgrades on the Defender at 100 point squad totals. There's pros and cons to each, I know. Personally I'm more inclined to use the ion cannon because a) it keeps an already expensive ship cheaper than the HLC and b) it allows you to set up for multiple shots on a ship in the next round. Plus, a small base Imperial ship with ion capabilities has been a long time coming and I wish to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Though I am tempted to try out that HLC, it seems like a huge amount of points to spend.

Vorpal Sword likes this

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Excluding hitting the stunt buttion over and over agian (white k after white k after white k) I dont see it as being a great idea to use ion cannon on Defender unless its helping a friendly ship to curb stomp the ionized enemy.  By itself with ion it will have problems killing ships at close range if it cant hit the stunt buttion.

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Excluding hitting the stunt buttion over and over agian (white k after white k after white k) I dont see it as being a great idea to use ion cannon on Defender unless its helping a friendly ship to curb stomp the ionized enemy.  By itself with ion it will have problems killing ships at close range if it cant hit the stunt buttion.

Why would something with 4 attack dice at range 1 have trouble killing something?

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The real issue is that Ion just doesn't do enough damage to justify the 30+ point platform it goes on.  You are spending a bare minimum of 33 points to put a single point of damage on, and to Ionize a single ship.  With such an expensive platform, you lack the support team you need to capitalize on your control.

 

An HLC will consistently put out 2 or 3 points per shot after agility dice are rolled.  In 2 turns, the HLC will generally have destroyed the target by itself, where an Ion will have put 2 damage out and required shots from the rest of the squadron to actually eliminate that target.

 

On a cheaper ship, Ions are great because they allow that ship to control and counter ships worth many more points.  On an expensive platform, you find yourself behind the damage curve too steeply.  It is counter-intuitive, but the more expensive a ship is the lower the relative cost of upgrades becomes.  7 points pays out better on a 30 point ship than a 22 point ship.  Ions go best on Y-Wings, are marginal on B-Wings, and are poor on Defenders.

MajorJuggler and AdmiralThrawn like this

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The real issue is that Ion just doesn't do enough damage to justify the 30+ point platform it goes on.  You are spending a bare minimum of 33 points to put a single point of damage on, and to Ionize a single ship.  With such an expensive platform, you lack the support team you need to capitalize on your control.

 

An HLC will consistently put out 2 or 3 points per shot after agility dice are rolled.  In 2 turns, the HLC will generally have destroyed the target by itself, where an Ion will have put 2 damage out and required shots from the rest of the squadron to actually eliminate that target.

 

On a cheaper ship, Ions are great because they allow that ship to control and counter ships worth many more points.  On an expensive platform, you find yourself behind the damage curve too steeply.  It is counter-intuitive, but the more expensive a ship is the lower the relative cost of upgrades becomes.  7 points pays out better on a 30 point ship than a 22 point ship.  Ions go best on Y-Wings, are marginal on B-Wings, and are poor on Defenders.

On the other hand, for 3 points you get the option to Ionize someone, and have boosted accuracy at range 3.

We all know I think the Defender is overcosted, but the Ion Cannon is not the worst thing to put on the base model. It's functionally one of the best. HLC is too expensive. Missiles are all pretty meh, although the Defender isn't a bad missile platform. That leaves Ion Cannon and Modifications. Engine Upgrade is pretty much the best mod for the Defender, although Hull is pretty nasty as well.

That makes Ion Cannon, at worst, the third best option to put on the ship

Rhinoviru3 and Vorpal Sword like this

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I guess the question is, is it worth to only do 1 damage in one round, in order to set up a 3-4 attack that the opponent can't attack back with? No one is advocating that you always attack with the Ion Cannon, but use it for it's intended role. Setting the opponent up for the pain.

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While it's true that raw damage output lacks, I would like to assert that damage alone isn't the only gain. For instance, you could ion a ship into an asteroid, or keep it pointed out of the battle for a whole turn entirely. Both of these instances means they aren't firing at your ships at all even before you destroy them, increasing the survivability and overall effectiveness of your entire squad. You could also get lucky and Ion a ship right off the board. This is especially helpful if that ship would otherwise have taken more turns to kill despite your damage output (like a B-Wing). You can set up an opponent who normally uses their actions to stay alive to be blocked and denied those actions (i've seen success against both Vader and Fel in this arena). For instance in a recent match, though it took three rounds of firing to kill Darth Vader, thanks to my Ion shot he was only even able to fire for one of them. The rest of the rounds he was completely impotent, and then he blew up. With such a small and maneuverable platform for the Ion Cannon, it's not hard to set up those opportunistic shots often enough to make the points worth it. And yes, as Aminar said it's a great way to deal a much-needed point of damage to a ship at range 3 for much cheaper than an HLC.

 

I'd also like to point out that you can use it to make a stressed pilot very veeerryyy sorry, or force an opponent out of k-turning for what would otherwise be an advantageous shot for worry they'll be ioned for their trouble. And in general, Ion + OUtmaneuver + white k-turn is not something your opponent wants.

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I didn't say the Ion was useless, only that I don't believe the Defender is a good platform for it.  But then again, there is always the opportunity to put that second Ion on a Lambda and watch it float by, never to return...

18tvp7len5hpcgif.gif

HAHAHA! Nice. (although ironically, that cow actually does make a second pass…)

KineticOperator likes this

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I have seen a lot of people talking about the Ion Cannon+White K-turn combo, and at face value, it seems really good.  However, consider this:

 

You Joust with the enemy, and hit with your ion cannon.  You K-turn behind and Ion the ship again, because you can always have a modified shot after a K-turn.  The defender moves forward 1, again.  You must move ahead a minimum of 2 or change your direction.  So, after 1-2 ion attacks from behind, you will bump or pass your target.  The only option is K-turn again, which means the enemy ship will likely get a close-range shot into your face, defeating the purpose of getting behind them to issue repeated Ion volleys.

 

Am I missing another benefit from this strategy?  I just feel like the speed of the Defender is counter-productive to chasing a ship while forcing it to only move one speed.

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The ion cannon is there to take advantage of your mobility and the other guy's mistakes. Force them to chase you into the asteroids or near the edge and it gives them plenty of things to think about. Anything that messes with the other guy's head is good. Maximize your primaries with your setup ions, and you will smash them. The problem with other cannon platforms is the lack of mobility. The defender has all of it that you need to take advantage of the ion hits.

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I have seen a lot of people talking about the Ion Cannon+White K-turn combo, and at face value, it seems really good.  However, consider this:

 

You Joust with the enemy, and hit with your ion cannon.  You K-turn behind and Ion the ship again, because you can always have a modified shot after a K-turn.  The defender moves forward 1, again.  You must move ahead a minimum of 2 or change your direction.  So, after 1-2 ion attacks from behind, you will bump or pass your target.  The only option is K-turn again, which means the enemy ship will likely get a close-range shot into your face, defeating the purpose of getting behind them to issue repeated Ion volleys.

 

Am I missing another benefit from this strategy?  I just feel like the speed of the Defender is counter-productive to chasing a ship while forcing it to only move one speed.

 

I don't think the goal is to continually ion them, but to do it once letting you kturn behind them in a strong position and blast them with your guns. Then let them do a normal maneuver and reassess things, possibly ioning them and kturning behind them again.

Edited by Damoel

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Excluding hitting the stunt buttion over and over agian (white k after white k after white k) I dont see it as being a great idea to use ion cannon on Defender unless its helping a friendly ship to curb stomp the ionized enemy.  By itself with ion it will have problems killing ships at close range if it cant hit the stunt buttion.

Why would something with 4 attack dice at range 1 have trouble killing something?

 

 

It "COULD", but not always" smack right into the enemy ship.  It has a simi problem I think that the A-Wing and Interceptor have in that they cant slow down enough to just stay behind most enemy fighters, which is why I am hoping for a ept card "throttle down" alows all manuvers to be treated one less there speed, minimum of 1. 

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I have seen a lot of people talking about the Ion Cannon+White K-turn combo, and at face value, it seems really good.  However, consider this:

 

You Joust with the enemy, and hit with your ion cannon.  You K-turn behind and Ion the ship again, because you can always have a modified shot after a K-turn.  The defender moves forward 1, again.  You must move ahead a minimum of 2 or change your direction.  So, after 1-2 ion attacks from behind, you will bump or pass your target.  The only option is K-turn again, which means the enemy ship will likely get a close-range shot into your face, defeating the purpose of getting behind them to issue repeated Ion volleys.

 

Am I missing another benefit from this strategy?  I just feel like the speed of the Defender is counter-productive to chasing a ship while forcing it to only move one speed.

 

I don't think the goal is to continually ion them, but to do it once letting you kturn behind them in a strong position and blast them with your guns. Then let them do a normal maneuver and reassess things, possibly ioning them and kturning behind them again.

 

Bingo.

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I had the chance to won a Defender at Imdaar and played a few games with it. I went with the Ion on the first game and opt for the HLC after without ever looking back again...

Also, think about a late game 1vs1 against a Han, Lando or Chewie. At range 3 you prefer ditching potentially 4 hits or only 1? The HLC in most situations is the way to go, even on a Delta. The late game potential is significantly better with an HLC.

KineticOperator likes this

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Yeah, you wouldn't be using the Ion Cannon on the Falcon anyway. I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. But against another ship, setting up a turn or two of unanswerable attacks is worth it.

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Well then again... Let's say you joust... My Defender is at range 2 against your X-wing let say... and we shoot at each other. You roll 2 evade against my 4 red dice, and I roll 3 against your 3.

Next I k-turn and you k-turn. I am getting another 4 red dice at range 3 against your 2 evade plus get a focus or TL and you can shoot your 3 red against my 4 evade and you are stressed by your k and get no action.

I win! Even while jousting face to face, the defender is the better fighter, it is made for jousting and Imagine a scenario like that with Brath and Predator + HLC and the ability to turn my hits into crits....

You see.. It all comes to this : with the Defender... go HLC or go home! ;-)

Edited by Jagd

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Eh, I think the Ion has a place, I want to try 3 Delta plus Ion, just for funsies. I like the way the Ion Cannon functions on the defender. It mirrors TIE Fighter quite well.

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It has a place for sure..., you can pull off nice combos like Ion + outmaneuver, but it is simply not as strong. For effectiveness: HLC+Predator is going to kill the enemy much faster.

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Except, of course, Predator will only be going on Rexlar or Vessory. Not the Onyx or Delta. Yes, the HLC is a nice option. But, the Ion Cannon is cheaper. It comes down to what you can fit into your squad.

 

Besides, I love Rexlar handing out a Crit and an Ion token with the Ion Cannon.

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Yeah, you wouldn't be using the Ion Cannon on the Falcon anyway. I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. But against another ship, setting up a turn or two of unanswerable attacks is worth it.

I dunno, if you have a squad for some head games, you could tag it early and I bet you'd see some mighty careful steppin' for most of the match. it might almost be worth it just to make them maneuver on eggshells. (this of course assumes you have asteroids in your game.)

berusplants likes this

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Except, of course, Predator will only be going on Rexlar or Vessory. Not the Onyx or Delta. Yes, the HLC is a nice option. But, the Ion Cannon is cheaper. It comes down to what you can fit into your squad.

 

Besides, I love Rexlar handing out a Crit and an Ion token with the Ion Cannon.

I did that once. Ended up double stressing an Ion'd soontir fel. Beautiful.

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And while the HLC will do more damage in a vacuum (rimshot) the Ion can will support and be supported by the rest of the squad, dictating placement, preventing shots, etc.

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I also like how Ion shots can really disrupt formation flying. This is not really the case with rebels, unless the entire unit wanted to turn. If you happen to hit the ship on the inside, it really forces the rest of the formation into making bigger turns, something they don't always want because it makes them overshoot. Such has been my experience anyway. But that was back when my Ion cannons were on shuttles who lacked the small base and maneuverability to really capitalize on the trouble.

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