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# "Defender" is a misnomer

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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.

The Defender certainly does better in a lower ship Metagame. The question becomes, where will the metagame go. Because right now the ships that benefit most from the lower ship Meta are Large ships.(The Outrider, Decimator, Firespray and Falcon at least, maybe not the Shuttle) will all love only taking 3 attacks a round. The Firespray does as well, but it lacks the benefit of C3PO. Defenders lose their biggest advantage against Falcons, and decimators, and will have to work hard to utilize it against the Outrider and the Firespray. Rexler can do fun things come wave 5 though.

I still don' see them fitting into the Metagame well.

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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.

Agreed. having both is much better. The more attacks leveled the more the focus might come up multiple, but like I said, that's a gamble. A big one.

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Agreed. having both is much better. The more attacks leveled the more the focus might come up multiple, but like I said, that's a gamble. A big one.

I guess if you know tons of attacks are coming, you can opt for the focus, knowing that the more times you have to roll your three defense dice, the more likely it becomes that you will roll two eyeballs.

But, here it is: you roll one eyeball on the first defensive roll. Now the dilemma: do you break even by spending it, or take the chance on the upcoming roll that you will roll two eyeballs. At that point, you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?"

Well, do ya, punk?

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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?

Rexler PTL

Vessery VI

Yorr Shuttle

Not only do you fully unlock your complete maneuver dial, you also get to use both pilots' abilities reasonably well. Only problem is that your Shuttle is relatively useless, and you are in all honesty a 2 ship list

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I've run it a few times now and I absolutely love it.

It's survived all but one game it's played in. It always seems to get beaten on pretty badly to start, but then the white K-turn kicks in, and I just stay on their tail and finish them off. K-turn combined with barrel roll is a super powerful combo, as is K-turn target lock.

The white K-turn and 3s down the board really is all that.

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the defender is a joust machine, thus the white Kturn.  Add outmaneuver to it and this ship starts to wear down the opposition.  I took 2 with that (both named) and a Saber with VI.  so 6/6/8.  flew the saber and other 6 together and the 8 solo.  let the other player tray and chase one, and then came around with the other ships.  I took 5 hits the whole game.

I did see that Decoy would benefit Rex ALOT, but need to finish that build out more.

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Vessery w/ Outmaneuver

Scimitar w/ Ion pulse missiles x2

The theory being that you can keep the bombers and shuttle together and split Vessery off to attack the flank. If they go for Vessery, they get two of their ships ioned (and the target locks stay on!) and a very punishing doom-shuttle behind them, merrily inflicting crits to it's heart's content. If they go for the shuttle and bombers, well, the imperial version of wedge is not a very forgiving fellow.

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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...

I resemble this post!

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#focus Probability

0          42.2%

1          42.2%

2          14.1%

3            1.6%

...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%.

Your math is correct, but your conclusion is focused on a scale that's too narrow. If all you need is to survive the very next attack, then evade is better.

But go ahead and call it a 40% to roll 0 evades and a 60% chance to roll at least 1. (This is obviously a simplification, but it makes the math easier.) That 40% shrinks down very quickly if you consider the value of a focus token against concentrated fire--i.e., the thing everybody does because it's effective. If your Defender is attacked twice in a round, you have only a 16% chance to roll 0 evades, and if you're attacked 3 times it drops to just 6%.

That's why I'm objecting to the note upthread that the Defender is seriously missing the evade action--for ships with 3 Agility, in practical terms the evade action amounts to hedging against a probability that's very low (the likelihood of seeing no [focus] results in the course of a round), at the cost of erasing a happy event that might otherwise occur (the likelihood of seeing multiple [focus] results in a given roll).

...I didn't mean to derail the thread completely. It's just that I've heard claims before that the Defender is unreliably fragile, but this is the first time I've had someone say that it's because it lacks the evade action. And there's enough mathematical evidence backing up my own experience that I'm comfortable saying the Defender is at least no worse off with a focus token than with an evade token--even if you never plan to use that focus for offense.

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...I didn't mean to derail the thread completely. It's just that I've heard claims before that the Defender is unreliably fragile, but this is the first time I've had someone say that it's because it lacks the evade action. And there's enough mathematical evidence backing up my own experience that I'm comfortable saying the Defender is at least no worse off with a focus token than with an evade token--even if you never plan to use that focus for offense.

Ok, that was me, and here's what I said:

I think the lack of evade action really hurts the ship.

This is different than claiming that it's the main reason that it's unreliably fragile. My opinion is that the evade action would give it a more reliable source of mitigating damage. And having an evade action opens up the opportunity to get both a focus and evade with PTL or a support ship, which is indisputably better than either action by itself.

That's it.

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Not sure if anyone has touched on this already, but the Defender really suffers in action economy. It's a ship that is begging for PTL, but has very poor ways of removing stress. After all, it's a TIE, which means it wants to be barrel rolling into good positions. It's also a high attack ship, especially with HLC, which means it wants to be Focusing and/or Target Locking even more than other TIEs to avoid relying on your luck with variance. Then people are putting Engine Upgrades on it anyways, and making it's action usage even more demanding. The ship costs a ton of points because it's a high agility ship, like usual, that's also tanky. As something that is at minimum 25% of your squad, you can't afford to be throwing unmodified 3 dice attacks down every turn.

Interceptors are excellent as you can have 4 ships with 8 actions every round, more if you're including someone like Soontir or Turr. With Defenders, you'll be hard pressed to have 3 ships and 4 actions, even. What's worse is that the named Defender pilots actually want to decrease your action economy, rather than boost it. Rexlar wants you to lose an action to use his ability, in an already action starved squad. Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Having the Evade action wouldn't help Defenders much, not because Evade is ineffective, but because using Evade exacerbates it's core problem. I think the people who fly two HLC Defenders with Jonus may be on to something, but I'm not sure it's enough. Certainly, though, when Fleet Officer comes out there will be many more possibilities. Currently, I'm finding an ST-321 titled Omicron Pilot with Weapons Engineer and an FCS to be a very valuable ally for Vessery. You can even have more than 3 ships and will have a decent amount of actions.

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#focus Probability

0          42.2%

1          42.2%

2          14.1%

3            1.6%

...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%.

Your math is correct, but your conclusion is focused on a scale that's too narrow. If all you need is to survive the very next attack, then evade is better.

But go ahead and call it a 40% to roll 0 evades and a 60% chance to roll at least 1. (This is obviously a simplification, but it makes the math easier.) That 40% shrinks down very quickly if you consider the value of a focus token against concentrated fire--i.e., the thing everybody does because it's effective. If your Defender is attacked twice in a round, you have only a 16% chance to roll 0 evades, and if you're attacked 3 times it drops to just 6%.

I'm not a big fan of the Defender for reasons that we needn't get into, so I don't mind derailing the thread

But I'm not sure I follow your reasoning or why my scope is too narrow. Either token is one-use-only, so it only matters in the shot that you use to defend it from.

Now, sure, if there are attacks coming up that you REALLY want to avoid because they're of a certain nature, or if you have Stealth Device that you want to protect, then there are specific issues, but it seems like we're talking in general terms here.

So, in terms of concentrated fire, you're going to defend yourself from multiple attacks, but you can only burn the focus/evade once. The more you can blunt the earlier attacks, the longer you keep your shields, and the less danger you face from critical hits. So, in that respect, your dilemma is about how lucky you feel and how you might get that double-eyeball in a future roll. But once you've already rolled the green dice for the first roll, then the probabilities on the second roll are the same as on the first roll, and you might as well prefer certain for uncertain.

But maybe I misunderstand your point. Could you please clarify what you mean?

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My opinion is that the evade action would give it a more reliable source of mitigating damage. And having an evade action opens up the opportunity to get both a focus and evade with PTL or a support ship, which is indisputably better than either action by itself.

That's it.

I apologize for distorting your point, and thanks for the correction. I do maintain, however, that it's open to question whether evade is more reliable than focus in practice, in this context.

But I'm not sure I follow your reasoning or why my scope is too narrow. Either token is one-use-only, so it only matters in the shot that you use to defend it from...

So, in terms of concentrated fire, you're going to defend yourself from multiple attacks, but you can only burn the focus/evade once. The more you can blunt the earlier attacks, the longer you keep your shields, and the less danger you face from critical hits. So, in that respect, your dilemma is about how lucky you feel and how you might get that double-eyeball in a future roll. But once you've already rolled the green dice for the first roll, then the probabilities on the second roll are the same as on the first roll, and you might as well prefer certain for uncertain.

But maybe I misunderstand your point. Could you please clarify what you mean?

When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

(*Of course if it's heads-up, end-game play those numbers converge with the likelihood for a single attack, and there evade is helpful. )

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I think people are running the defender in the wrong squads. Personally I feel it benefits the most from a 3 ship elite squad. For instance vessery with outmaneuver and hlc along with a BH w/recon spec and a scimitar bomber with ion pulse missiles for 100 points. This makes it a much tougher choice for the opponent to pick. If they decide to focus on vessery then you've got a BH with 3 attack and double focus along with a bomber that can shut down any ship with a double ion. Either way you try to go your looking at some nasty shots headed your way. Maybe elite build isn't the right word for this particular list but really my point is the defender needs wingman of equal threat in order to survive. Maybe this is the wrong approach and I'm not sure how competitive this build would be as I have yet to try it however I have played a game with a phantom and defender and just from that game felt like it needed other threats to fly along side it.

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Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.

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Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.

this is correct it means he can take a focus action and after making his first attack use the TL to reroll and alter the result with focus if needed.

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When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

Yes, of course. I see what you're saying. The focus is certainly more versatile, as I said earlier. I thought we were talking in a purely defensive calculation.

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Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.

this is correct it means he can take a focus action and after making his first attack use the TL to reroll and alter the result with focus if needed.

Right, I'm saying that if Wingman A has a target lock on Bogey B, then Vessery focuses, gets a free target lock and proceeds to destroy Bogey B (Not unlikely with a F+TL 4 dice attack), Wingman A can no longer use his target lock - the ship is gone!

Certainly on the first round of shooting and against a Large ship or B-Wing, Vessery will generate a free action, but most rounds he is action neutral. Whichever ship is supplying him with the target lock is simply using their action to make sure Vessery's early-in-the-round 4 dice shot is maximized.

Edited by Rithrin

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When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

Yes, of course. I see what you're saying. The focus is certainly more versatile, as I said earlier. I thought we were talking in a purely defensive calculation.

I do mean in just a defensive calculation, though--what I mean is that evade is more reliable defensively, but I don't think that perspective is as valuable as zooming out to what's likely to extend the ship's total lifespan. And I don't think the reliability of evade against a single attack is as important as the long-term improvement in the average result that a focus token offers.

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Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.

this is correct it means he can take a focus action and after making his first attack use the TL to reroll and alter the result with focus if needed.

Right, I'm saying that if Wingman A has a target lock on Bogey B, then Vessery focuses, gets a free target lock and proceeds to destroy Bogey B (Not unlikely with a F+TL 4 dice attack), Wingman A can no longer use his target lock - the ship is gone!

Certainly on the first round of shooting and against a Large ship or B-Wing, Vessery will generate a free action, but most rounds he is action neutral. Whichever ship is supplying him with the target lock is simply using their action to make sure Vessery's early-in-the-round 4 dice shot is maximized.

Early destruction of the other sides big hitter is important and if vassery takes out wedge without the other ship using its TL that's worth it.

What's more you could just take a 14 point tie with TC and have that activate vasserys ability or deliver the finishing blow.

HLC with TL and a focus can do alot of damage at range 3 I've done it myself, and the k-turn really puts pressure on as they have an awkward choice k themselves and lose their action or bank and still be in the sweet zone.

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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

Actually, my Defenders have tended to be some of the longest living, evasive ships in my games. Sure I'll have a game or two where the thing dies in 2-3 shots, but I've had many more games where variance plays at least slightly in my favor, and I come out on top having only lost 1-3 shields. Plus for those truly death defying games, I've had it last through turns where it should have died while barely taking a scratch.

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Vessery usually is simply stealing an action from his wingman, as he destroys the target with his 'free' TL, meaning the pilot who originally had the lock can't use it anymore.

Just to point out, Vessery doesn't steal a target lock, he gets to aquire one for himself if the person he's shooting at is already locked.

this is correct it means he can take a focus action and after making his first attack use the TL to reroll and alter the result with focus if needed.

Right, I'm saying that if Wingman A has a target lock on Bogey B, then Vessery focuses, gets a free target lock and proceeds to destroy Bogey B (Not unlikely with a F+TL 4 dice attack), Wingman A can no longer use his target lock - the ship is gone!

Certainly on the first round of shooting and against a Large ship or B-Wing, Vessery will generate a free action, but most rounds he is action neutral. Whichever ship is supplying him with the target lock is simply using their action to make sure Vessery's early-in-the-round 4 dice shot is maximized.

But that's assuming the lock wastes an otherwise productive action. Fire-Control System is one way to get free locks for Vessery to use, or turns when a ship is mostly clear of any combat and takes an opportunistic target lock to use later. Vader, any shuttle with any combination of weapons engineer, FCS, or ST-321, any Phantom with FCS and Weapons Engineer… there are all other ways to maximize action economy. Even BSP, Saber Squadron or Royal Guard Interceptors with PtL and Targeting Computer can fill this roll.

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Brath
Black+wingman
Black+wingman

Black(s) go first.  Yorr Advanced sensors Fleet officer, he is then stressed. green move, blocked by ties.  Yorr is now free of stress.  Brath has the desperately needed extra focus token. Yorr can immediately take Brath's stress if Brath were to Hard turn.  Combat starts and the Blacks take that stress away.  All the token passing gets so confusing, so very unlike the Imperials

You could drop a black wingman for an obsidian and put predator onto Brath. if you wanted.  With two focuses, predator might not be auto-include

Yorr just can't make use of the Zero if he wants to use fleet officer.  I'm liking this list, won't be able to use it til christmas however.

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When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

Yes, of course. I see what you're saying. The focus is certainly more versatile, as I said earlier. I thought we were talking in a purely defensive calculation.

I do mean in just a defensive calculation, though--what I mean is that evade is more reliable defensively, but I don't think that perspective is as valuable as zooming out to what's likely to extend the ship's total lifespan. And I don't think the reliability of evade against a single attack is as important as the long-term improvement in the average result that a focus token offers.

Are we actually in disagreement about something, or are we arguing without actually being in disagreement?

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When I take an action I typically consider the round, rather than the individual attacks. So what I mean is that--with 3 Agility--the chance I'll be locked out of using focus is actually similar to oreven lower than the chance that I'll be able to use it to generate 2+ evades.*

Or, to put it another way, the evade action is like making a personal rule in blackjack that you'll never hit on a 12 or more because you could go bust. It's true, but it doesn't optimize your results over the long term.

Yes, of course. I see what you're saying. The focus is certainly more versatile, as I said earlier. I thought we were talking in a purely defensive calculation.

I do mean in just a defensive calculation, though--what I mean is that evade is more reliable defensively, but I don't think that perspective is as valuable as zooming out to what's likely to extend the ship's total lifespan. And I don't think the reliability of evade against a single attack is as important as the long-term improvement in the average result that a focus token offers.

Are we actually in disagreement about something, or are we arguing without actually being in disagreement?

He's saying over 4 or 5 shots you can probably get 2 evades out of a focus. I don't buy the usefulness of that logic for the same reason you don't. Your opponent can decide not to fire at you, opting for a different target. You can take 3 shots where a focus would have saved you one damage, then suddenly roll 3 blanks and be dead. Banking on two focuses is a gamble. The evade is 1 hit nullified every time. And works every round. The focus doesn't. Now, typically I focus anyway, but if I'm defending that evade token is mighty handy. Especially on a ship I'm trying to keep clear of ablot of arcs+ as it's guaranteed to nullify 1 hit off one attack.

His logic is mathematically valid. As is the one roll superiority of an evade token.

I maintain that the Defender with Boost and Advanced Sensors would have been an incredibly unique and viable ship. As is, its usefulness is questionable. Still. It's not a bad ship, but it suffers from its point cost. The exception being Vessery. Vessery is cheaper and better than any of the named firespray pilots, but he needs the right team and could have really used one more upgrade slot for something interesting.