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Cmacaulay

"Defender" is a misnomer

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I just got my hands on my very own Defender... and I want to like it so badly. IMO, it already has some great building blocks to be a competitive ship (i.e. the K turn, the stats, the HLC capability.), and if you're color-blind it has a phenomenal maneuver dial. In the games I've played with it, it has the highest damage output of any ship I own... but dies faster than my interceptors. It just needs one little teeny-tiny little push to be awesome; like the capability to evade, or at least receive a free token (looking at you fleet officer).

Has anyone else had any success with it, or ideas to unlock it's potential?

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I know in my matches the other person sees a juicy target (points) that fires 3 shots at them and they want it gone.  what is nice is doing a 4k while stressed, thats a weird feeling.  I won with it a couple times now.  I am trying to get a lock on the right uses and set ups that really benefit it

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I strongly suspect that if I figured out how to use it well the Defender would be at a huge advantage because nobody knows how to fly against it. I have had some decent success with it against b-wings, but not any more than with interceptors. Maybe I should have my rebel-playing brother try using it, as he is an ace with similar ships and the Defender plays more like a rebel ship anyway.  

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I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship. For what you pay for the **** thing, I'm surprised it can't.

 

For the point cost, it's definitely a risk. Either those three green dice do well for you or they don't. Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship. An evade action would ensure that even under the worst conditions, it will survive three hits. And if it had evade, you'd have the option of using PTL or a support ship to help you get the focus + evade combo.

 

I'd rather field Vader than the PS1 defender. Saves you one point, too!

devotedknight and BobbyM like this

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Tried a build yesterday consisting of Rexlar with HLC and EU, Jonus with Determination & Seismics, and a PTL Saber with a hull upgrade.

It is not a build I will ever use again. I killed one Biggs and one Backstabber.

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Used an Ion Defender in my last game, and killed it myself by hitting an asteroid on a consecutive k-turn because I forgot I'd barrel rolled the previous turn.

Got beat up real fast in the beginning, but then it stayed alive for quite a while. Defender excels at breaking away and coming back for another pass later. Good way to deny points for letting it and meeting it come back later if needed.

Edited by LunaticPathos

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I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship. For what you pay for the **** thing, I'm surprised it can't.

The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 

Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship.

The odds of losing a Defender to two shots with 3 Attack--even without any token at all to spend on defense--are literally 100:1.

 

An evade action would ensure that even under the worst conditions, it will survive three hits. And if it had evade, you'd have the option of using PTL or a support ship to help you get the focus + evade combo.

There's an 82% chance that, in just those two defense rolls, you'll be able to spend your focus token to change at least 1 [focus] result to an [evade] result--and there's a 29% chance to change at least 2.

Or, to put it another way, the average value of a focus token against those 2 attacks is 1.14 [evade] results, compared to 1 for the evade token, and odds are better than 5:1 against the proposition that the focus token will be worse.

 

I'd rather field Vader than the PS1 defender. Saves you one point, too!

Does knowing the math behind it change anything for you?

Edited by Vorpal Sword

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I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship. For what you pay for the **** thing, I'm surprised it can't.

The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship.

The odds of losing a Defender to two shots with 3 Attack--even without any token at all to spend on defense--are literally 100:1.

An evade action would ensure that even under the worst conditions, it will survive three hits. And if it had evade, you'd have the option of using PTL or a support ship to help you get the focus + evade combo.

There's an 82% chance that, in just those two defense rolls, you'll be able to spend your focus token to change at least 1 [focus] result to an [evade] result--and there's a 29% chance to change at least 2.Or, to put it another way, the average value of a focus token against those 2 attacks is 1.14 [evade] results, compared to 1 for the evade token, and odds are better than 5:1 against the proposition that the focus token will be worse.

I'd rather field Vader than the PS1 defender. Saves you one point, too!

Does knowing the math behind it change anything for you?
Not really. Focus is better because it offers flexibility, but an Evade token still nets better defense results by a hair on 3 agility ships. You can gamble on trying to get two evades to get better results, but that's a tough gamble, as you're far more likely to roll no focuses than 2 or 3 on any given attack. Edited by Aminar
Black Knight Leader likes this

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I can appreciate the math behind it, but I want to spend my focus on attacking. If I could have a focus for attacking and a focus/evade token to defend I would be happy. Or having the option of spending both tokens on defense, because the Defender kinda plays like a late-game ship and I want it to survive as long as possible.

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I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship. For what you pay for the **** thing, I'm surprised it can't.

 

Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship. An evade action would ensure that even under the worst conditions, it will survive three hits.

Just like a X-Wing, A-Wing, E-Wing, Z-95, HWK-290, Tie Fighter, Tie Advanced, Tie Interceptor, Tie Bomber and Tie Phantom. Hypothetically, a LOT of ship can be destroyed in 2 shots if you roll only blanks. **** happens and bad luck will come up from time to time.

 

The ship is nice. 2 Defender with HLC and Jonus can be very nasty, Rexler with mini-swarm, Vessery with Bombers. 

rym and JCDisaray like this

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Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship.

The odds of losing a Defender to two shots with 3 Attack--even without any token at all to spend on defense--are literally 100:1.

 

 

Great! I should be alright for the next 99 games since it happened to me this week. But to be fair, Wedge was there so I had only 2 agility against the first shot. Still, I don't dismiss the ship because of one unlucky night. I actually like the Defender and the potential of the ship.

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Honestly, I love the PS1 defender. Slap an HLC on it and it's good to go.

 

Lately I've been running:

 

Carnor Jax

Push the Limit

Hull Upgrade

 

Delta Squadron Pilot

Heavy Laser Cannon

 

Night Beast

 

Black Squadron Pilot

Decoy (or sometimes Wingman)

 

Carnor is a big threat in his own right and makes people less likely to target the Defender. Also when Carnor is at range 1 stopping evades and focuses, it's really nasty to get hit by a focused HLC.

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I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship. For what you pay for the **** thing, I'm surprised it can't.

 

Hypothetically, you can lose one in two shots from a 3 attack dice ship. An evade action would ensure that even under the worst conditions, it will survive three hits.

Just like a X-Wing, A-Wing, E-Wing, Z-95, HWK-290, Tie Fighter, Tie Advanced, Tie Interceptor, Tie Bomber and Tie Phantom. Hypothetically, a LOT of ship can be destroyed in 2 shots if you roll only blanks. **** happens and bad luck will come up from time to time.

 

The ship is nice. 2 Defender with HLC and Jonus can be very nasty, Rexler with mini-swarm, Vessery with Bombers.

The only one of those that compares in cost is the E-Wing, and neither one is defensively reliable, but the E-Wing can use Push the limit to much greater effect to manage a focus and an evade, while also getting target locks from Fire Control. In addition E-Wings can recieve extra focuses and actions from much better sources than Defenders, and can equip Astromechs. It is fair to say that I would rather have a Hull upgraded EWing than a Defender for the same cost any day. The only exception being that Vessery's ability is fantastic on a well designed team. Even then, it's hard to compare him to Etahn with Push for the Same cost. And I don't particularly like the E-Wing. I think it's overcosted, but at least it's got some fun customization options.
Corellian Corvette likes this

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Focus is flexiblity...by adding risk. Evade takes flexibility away, by removing a random element and ensuring a degree of performance.

So style of play...which do you like more: knowing something will work...or hoping something will work?

Edited by Tiltowait

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I think it all really comes down to list building. The Defender is like any other ship in the game (minus maybe the TIE Advanced...), it has its strengths and its weaknesses. The key is build a list that suits it and not leave it hanging out to dry. Like was said before, Vessery and his ability can be absolutely stellar on an appropriate list. Pair him with a Buzzsaw and it's a match made in heaven. Is that a lot of points? Yes, definitely. But if flown well, those two can wreak absolute havoc on apposing squads.

 

The main key to success with the Defender thus far for me is the same as it has been for any other major point ship, give the opponent multiple juicy targets to make them choose one or the other, and stay flexible about which one they decide to pursue. That doesn't necessarily mean two big point ships, but given the choice of facing down a Defender or a mini-swarm will give the opponent pause. Don't be afraid to lose the Defender if it leaves you with another very good option for late game play, and vice-versa. I go in to every game with two or three strategies to choose from depending on which ship the opponent makes his or her target priority. Is it an absolute recipe for success? No, but at least it puts me in a position to be competitive. That is as long as the Dice Gods don't rain hellfire down on me...

Vonpenguin, rym, Cremate and 3 others like this

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How about engine upgrade for some actual 90 degree turns? Its statline is mostly awesome, just some more maneuverability?

The downside to the Engine Upgrade is that you're still using your action to finish the turn.

I'm at work and don't have templates to reference it, but how does the movement from a 1-bank with boost compare to the Defender's stock 3-turn? Or a 3-turn with a barrel roll into the turn?

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The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 

 

Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.

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Of course they'll go for the defender first for the same reason I go for wedge first it's one of the most lethal things on the board you'd be an idiot not to go for the defender first.

 

I've used mine had three high ps pilot pour fire into it and had it come out beat up, it then k-turned and vaped wedge while it's buddy did the same to etahn.

 

Any ship can die to traitorous green dice we've all had that happen I suspect and it sucks but is part of the game. 

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The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 

Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.

The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.

But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)

Mikael Hasselstein likes this

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The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 

Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.

The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.

But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)

For these reasons, I'd actually rather have a Hull Upgrade. It pushes its survivability ahead of the Firespray, actually, and that's a lot.

z0m4d likes this

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The evade action is typically weaker defensively than focus would be for ships with 3 Agility.

 Stealth Device might be a good option then: 4 dice + Focus.  Stealth Device is pricey and is gone with a bad roll but if you can keep the Defender around until mid-to-late game, that seems like it might be a good deal to me.
The more dice you add, the better Focus becomes.But Stealth isn't great on a Defender. They're too likely to draw focus fire. You want Stealth on something people ignore(or can't modify attacks against)
For these reasons, I'd actually rather have a Hull Upgrade. It pushes its survivability ahead of the Firespray, actually, and that's a lot.

My numbers very much disagree on it outliving the Firespray. If the Defender is modifying most of its defense rolls yes, but I don't see that as a likely scenario.

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Maybe the Defender will get better with time as we move to squads with fewer ships, as it will have the chance to modify a higher percentage of it's defensive rolls.

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Hm, running my own math on this, on three dice there's a focus-rolling probability distribution like so:

 

#focus Probability

0          42.2%

1          42.2%

2          14.1%

3            1.6%

(Please correct me if my math is off; I'm a bit rusty on this stuff. I also ran my spreadsheet on this several months ago for the attack dice, but given that the attack dice and the defense dice have equal numbers of eyeballs, that shouldn't matter.)

 

So, you're really weighing the 42.2% chance of 0 against the 15.7% chance that you get more than 1 focus, given that you're indifferent between 1 focus and 1 evade token. Sure, that 1.6% is a nice cherry, but .... it's 1.6%.

 

Of course, the versatility of the focus is its asset, but if your opponent made it so that he's out of your firing arc, then it seems like the evade token is better than the focus for purely defensive purposes.

Edited by Mikael Hasselstein

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