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jpltanis

Z-Swarm the new swarm meta?

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Hey guys,

 

I don't know if you failed to internalize what Emperor Palpatine just told us, but it's clear that he's had a major loss in his life that he disclosed to us. While that may not have any bearing on our subject matter, it does behoove us to be human beings for a moment and slow down the rhetoric.

 

 

I know you don't care about the "maths" as you call it, but please stop disrespecting the hard work done by people to try and estimate the effectiveness of new units and find out what they're best suited for.

1. I am well educated thank you. You have never met me so how can you make comments about my standard of education?

...

1. I never said anything about your education, but the fact that you dismiss math as a factor clearly indicated to me that you're a liberal arts major of some kind. The kind of math involved with this sort of thing is stuff that most people in the sciences learn in the first couple years of basic courses, so it shouldn't have been something you'd dismiss if you were a science major of some kind.

 

MF, my friend...

 

"Maths" is the British way of abbreviating 'mathematics', There's nothing wrong or uneducated about calling it that.

 

AND, flaming on the liberal arts as not being a school of disciplines that uses mathematics turns around the discussion of education on you. I teach social sciences under a 'College of Liberal Arts', and the idea that we don't use mathematics is preposterous. Statistical mathematics, our stock in trade in the social sciences, is precisely that branch of mathematics that grows out of the mathematics of probability. 

 

I've had more (and not enough) of that stuff in my long 'liberal arts' career

 

Also, check out what falls under 'Liberal Arts' for a moment. I do think I see 'mathematics' there.

That's OK Mikkel but thanks for your kind words. I used the example of Mandy's passing to point out that stats are not all they are cracked up to be, statistically I should not be a widower, but I am and also to point out that correlating X Wing with death, real death that leaves widows, widowers and orphans just doesn't seem right. I thought twice about posting it but I am sure Mandy will not mind and it seemed the best way to illustrate the point.

 

I actually had more to say about the Z95 but the tone the debate was taking meant I lost interest in saying it. Somebody did however send me a PM about it to which I have replied.

 

It is "Maths" over here, you're quite right. You'll find many of our words spelled differently as our English tends to have French influence whereas American English is more phonetic. We put the letter U into many words eg colour, labour and substitute S for Z eg recognize or recognise. We swap letters about too, you guys go to the theater, we go to the theatre, a child spelling those words the American way in our schools would certainly have his or her spelling marked as incorrect and I am sure the reverse applies.

While I am sorry for your loss, the internet is not usually the best place to bring things up. Partially because nobody can respond to your arguments flaws. It's an emotionally charged tactic that either gets ignored or destroys discussions.

I'm going to try to dance around the subject out of respect for the lost. Statistics as a whole is not a study of individual cases. It is the study of the average. The average Z-95 performs very well. The Non-average Z-95 gets blown out of the water by two hits and a crit from a range 1 Tie Fighter. That will happen. But it isn't the typical way things go, and over many games Z-95s will perform well. Judging any ship by worst case scenario(as you presented earlier) is flawed.

As to bringing up death in relation to X-Wing. It's a little unseemly, and the closer it is to anyone here the worse it is. But at some point discussions about world war 2 era planes will come up. That's fine. Somebody here probably lost a grandfather in world war 2, but they've heard about that war so much that if they are still emotionally scarred by it they shouldn't be reading anything where WWII comes up. We've all lost people. It always hurts, and will never stop hurting. But this isn't the place for discussions about them, but sometimes it can be a place to discuss death if it relates to the subject.

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Hey guys,

 

I don't know if you failed to internalize what Emperor Palpatine just told us, but it's clear that he's had a major loss in his life that he disclosed to us. While that may not have any bearing on our subject matter, it does behoove us to be human beings for a moment and slow down the rhetoric.

 

 

I know you don't care about the "maths" as you call it, but please stop disrespecting the hard work done by people to try and estimate the effectiveness of new units and find out what they're best suited for.

1. I am well educated thank you. You have never met me so how can you make comments about my standard of education?

...

1. I never said anything about your education, but the fact that you dismiss math as a factor clearly indicated to me that you're a liberal arts major of some kind. The kind of math involved with this sort of thing is stuff that most people in the sciences learn in the first couple years of basic courses, so it shouldn't have been something you'd dismiss if you were a science major of some kind.

 

MF, my friend...

 

"Maths" is the British way of abbreviating 'mathematics', There's nothing wrong or uneducated about calling it that.

 

AND, flaming on the liberal arts as not being a school of disciplines that uses mathematics turns around the discussion of education on you. I teach social sciences under a 'College of Liberal Arts', and the idea that we don't use mathematics is preposterous. Statistical mathematics, our stock in trade in the social sciences, is precisely that branch of mathematics that grows out of the mathematics of probability. 

 

I've had more (and not enough) of that stuff in my long 'liberal arts' career

 

Also, check out what falls under 'Liberal Arts' for a moment. I do think I see 'mathematics' there.

That's OK Mikkel but thanks for your kind words. I used the example of Mandy's passing to point out that stats are not all they are cracked up to be, statistically I should not be a widower, but I am and also to point out that correlating X Wing with death, real death that leaves widows, widowers and orphans just doesn't seem right. I thought twice about posting it but I am sure Mandy will not mind and it seemed the best way to illustrate the point.

 

I actually had more to say about the Z95 but the tone the debate was taking meant I lost interest in saying it. Somebody did however send me a PM about it to which I have replied.

 

It is "Maths" over here, you're quite right. You'll find many of our words spelled differently as our English tends to have French influence whereas American English is more phonetic. We put the letter U into many words eg colour, labour and substitute S for Z eg recognize or recognise. We swap letters about too, you guys go to the theater, we go to the theatre, a child spelling those words the American way in our schools would certainly have his or her spelling marked as incorrect and I am sure the reverse applies.

 

Though over here, both spellings of 'theatre' are accepted, as are 'grey' and 'gray'.  :P

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Hey guys,

 

I don't know if you failed to internalize what Emperor Palpatine just told us, but it's clear that he's had a major loss in his life that he disclosed to us. While that may not have any bearing on our subject matter, it does behoove us to be human beings for a moment and slow down the rhetoric.

 

 

I know you don't care about the "maths" as you call it, but please stop disrespecting the hard work done by people to try and estimate the effectiveness of new units and find out what they're best suited for.

1. I am well educated thank you. You have never met me so how can you make comments about my standard of education?

...

1. I never said anything about your education, but the fact that you dismiss math as a factor clearly indicated to me that you're a liberal arts major of some kind. The kind of math involved with this sort of thing is stuff that most people in the sciences learn in the first couple years of basic courses, so it shouldn't have been something you'd dismiss if you were a science major of some kind.
 

MF, my friend...

 

"Maths" is the British way of abbreviating 'mathematics', There's nothing wrong or uneducated about calling it that.

 

AND, flaming on the liberal arts as not being a school of disciplines that uses mathematics turns around the discussion of education on you. I teach social sciences under a 'College of Liberal Arts', and the idea that we don't use mathematics is preposterous. Statistical mathematics, our stock in trade in the social sciences, is precisely that branch of mathematics that grows out of the mathematics of probability. 

 

I've had more (and not enough) of that stuff in my long 'liberal arts' career

 

Also, check out what falls under 'Liberal Arts' for a moment. I do think I see 'mathematics' there.

That's OK Mikkel but thanks for your kind words. I used the example of Mandy's passing to point out that stats are not all they are cracked up to be, statistically I should not be a widower, but I am and also to point out that correlating X Wing with death, real death that leaves widows, widowers and orphans just doesn't seem right. I thought twice about posting it but I am sure Mandy will not mind and it seemed the best way to illustrate the point.

 

I actually had more to say about the Z95 but the tone the debate was taking meant I lost interest in saying it. Somebody did however send me a PM about it to which I have replied.

 

It is "Maths" over here, you're quite right. You'll find many of our words spelled differently as our English tends to have French influence whereas American English is more phonetic. We put the letter U into many words eg colour, labour and substitute S for Z eg recognize or recognise. We swap letters about too, you guys go to the theater, we go to the theatre, a child spelling those words the American way in our schools would certainly have his or her spelling marked as incorrect and I am sure the reverse applies.

While I am sorry for your loss, the internet is not usually the best place to bring things up. Partially because nobody can respond to your arguments flaws. It's an emotionally charged tactic that either gets ignored or destroys discussions.

I'm going to try to dance around the subject out of respect for the lost. Statistics as a whole is not a study of individual cases. It is the study of the average. The average Z-95 performs very well. The Non-average Z-95 gets blown out of the water by two hits and a crit from a range 1 Tie Fighter. That will happen. But it isn't the typical way things go, and over many games Z-95s will perform well. Judging any ship by worst case scenario(as you presented earlier) is flawed.

As to bringing up death in relation to X-Wing. It's a little unseemly, and the closer it is to anyone here the worse it is. But at some point discussions about world war 2 era planes will come up. That's fine. Somebody here probably lost a grandfather in world war 2, but they've heard about that war so much that if they are still emotionally scarred by it they shouldn't be reading anything where WWII comes up. We've all lost people. It always hurts, and will never stop hurting. But this isn't the place for discussions about them, but sometimes it can be a place to discuss death if it relates to the subject.

I didn't bring death up mate, somebody else spoke about stats and people being killed as a reply to one of my postings that didn't mention death at all. I merely responded. I personally think X Wing has no relationship to real death or WW2 planes, it has no height rules or tailing rules for a start.
Never said you started it. But you made it very personal very fast.

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Ignoring the troll, Z mini-swarm is strong filler for lists, as four ships are better than two in general. 

 

In X-Wing, ship numbers do make a difference. However pure swarm is dead due to the strength of Echo in defeating X number of lower PS ships without much difficulty, X being a number 1-5.  

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Whatever. I don't have a serious attitude about X-wing. I do however have a serious attitude about math, and forgive me if I take offense at someone who doesn't treat it with the respect it deserves.

Math is good statistics are worthless.

Statistics is just using math to prove a lie .

oneway likes this

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No, we can keep this polite. You just make it sound like you've made up your mind and can't be budged on the issue. It behooves us all to keep an open mind when people hold an opinion that we don't understand. I'll try to address your main points one at a time:

 

1) The Z-95's dial is actually very average, slightly different from an X-Wing's, but no worse. Only three Rebel ships have a 1-hard maneuver (one of which is red, and another you're likely to pay over 42 points for), so that's not really a mark against the Z-95. Similarly, only two Rebel ships have a 5-straight. It does share a 3-K with both the A-Wing and YT. Again, the Z-95's dial is very average, but I count that as a good thing - especially since you're only paying 12 points for it.

 

2) The Z-95's attack is no more weak than your average TIE Fighter, and, according to the math-wingers, the Z-95 is alleged to be slightly more durable than the TIE while costing the same amount. Those two red dice really start to add up when you throw them enough times, which is what you should be doing for only 12 points a ship. I'm not sure a competent player would accuse the TIE Fighter of being mere "cannon fodder," so perhaps we should keep a similarly open mind about the Z-95.

 

3) The Z-95 is far and away a better generic missile platform than the A-Wing. The A-Wing is overpriced enough as it is, without factoring in the cost of ordnance. Five ships loaded for bear makes for one heck of an alpha-strike, and the fact that you can field that many ships mitigates the risk of losing one before it shoots, owing to its low PS. When it comes to fielding ordnance, no other ship compares to the Z-95, not even the TIE Bomber.

 

4) Both of the named pilots are slightly more niche than your average Z-95, so they don't fit the same filler role as a Bandit or Tala Squadron Pilot. Blount is good when you absolutely have to get a missile off, and Cracken is quickly becoming one of my favorite Rebel pilots. At only 21 points - the same cost as a Rookie Pilot - you get a ship that can share both an action and PS8 at range 1. He is more fragile than your average X-Wing, which means you can't just throw him into any list and expect your opponent to ignore him. If you can find a way to protect him, however, that's still less than a quarter of your points well spent.

 

Pretty good write up Greenie!

:)

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I've played a few games with Z's now and they're great ships when used properly. Which is true of most every ship in the game. You don't use X-Wings as fast flankers, you don't use Tie Ints or Fighters as tanks. You don't use stock Hawks as strikers, ect...

The Z-95 swarm isn't that bad, and it's not really limited to just fighting ties. But the beauty of the Z is also how well it works as filler.

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Whatever. I don't have a serious attitude about X-wing. I do however have a serious attitude about math, and forgive me if I take offense at someone who doesn't treat it with the respect it deserves.

Math is good statistics are worthless.

Statistics is just using math to prove a lie .

 

Really?

Haven't we had enough trolling for one thread already?

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The Z-95 also contains 2 of the cheapest EPTs for rebels.  This means very cheap sources for cards like Squad Leader, Draw their Fire, or Wingman.  

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I wanted to maintain 12pt/ships test (apple vs apple).   I realized that Howl plays a big part in the effectiveness of the Tie swarm, but Howl is not a 12pt ship.  

 

The Z-swarm is likely to target lock Howl and focus fire on him at first contact and most likely take him out during first round of fighting.   Howl can only maybe damage one Z, before the Zs return fire. 

 

I don't have 8 Zs to do a full test and am hoping the community can do a more real battle (human vs Human).  I believe that the Z-swarm may not be out of the question in tournament play.  

 

I realized that Howl plays a big part in the effectiveness of the Tie swarm, but Howl is not a 12pt ship. 

Howl not being a 12pt ship is irrelevant. You're testing unsupported TIE fighters jousting Z-95s that have a pilot skill advantage. That says next to nothing about TIE swarms because TIE swarms are next to never just eight academies. TIEs either have Howlrunner at Range 3 with a defensive upgrade to buff their damage and draw fire off of them or they aren't sitting next to each other waiting to be shot and are taking advantage of their speed and maneuverability advantage. Of course Z-95s beat TIE fighters at flying like Z-95s! That's like pitting Alpha Interceptors against naked Gold Squadron Pilots, strip a craft of the upgrade, support and tactics that make it good while tossing their opponent into their own element and who's going to win? The problem with this test is that the deck is so heavily stacked in the Z-95's favour: it has a human player and pretty much every favourable circumstance it could ask for.

 

It's akin to going naked Saber versus Rookie Pilot, flying right at each other and claiming four X-wings beats four higher PS interceptors. Of course the TIEs come off worse if they're not flown the way they were designed to be, not taking advantage of the maneuverability that's part of their cost. How many 8 Academy swarms do you see winning tournaments? My bet is next to none, and I doubt they stuck in a tight pack if they did.

 

In addition, your AI assigns maneuvers semi-randomly, so unless you compensated for that a close pack of TIEs is going to be crashing constantly, meaning they aren't getting actions either.

 

Your experiment in its current state is flawed as to make any data from it unreliable even for Academy versus Bandit, and wholly unreliable for Z-swarm versus TIE swarm. To get any meaningful result you need the following:

  • Multiple games. At least three per swarm variant I'd say. X-wing has a strong random element you need to compensate for.
  • A properly built and played TIE swarm. That means Howlrunner. You'll probably want to run the test again with a few variants too: TIE swarms shift with Wave 4 just like everything else. Expect more named TIEs and possibly ramping up to Obsidian Pilots, and it's worth trying the Black Squadron Predator one too. Don't change the Z-95 swarm when you change the TIE swarm.
  • A human player of tournament skill playing the TIE swarm who doesn't want the Z-95s to win (just as the Z-95 player, who should be similarly skilled, does want the Z-95s to win.)

If the Z-95s still win consistently (I personally doubt they will) then you'll have successfully counterbuilt TIE swarms. That still doesn't prove the Z-95 swarm tournament viable. All that tells you is that that Z-95 swarm beats TIE swarms consistently. There's a lot more than TIE swarms in tournaments. Any squad with decent health and firepower or the arcdodging interceptors with PS advantage are going to shred you.

 

Remember FFG considered the Z-95 becoming a swarmer when they designed it and specifically wanted to avoid that. It's not designed to be the new TIE swarm and it's designed to fail in that department. If you want to try it, power to you, but I'll bet you'll find yourself four extra Z-95s out of pocket.

 

In the FFG battle report section, Z-swarm easily won against 3 Tie Defenders battle

Single battle. Dice game. Tactical influences. Not to mention they put Vessery by himself (he's a ship that needs support to use his ability) and Defenders are very dependent on green dice.

Edited by Lagomorphia

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Also, 36 pts doesn't tell you the full story, as you lack the full potential of 100pts. 8 TIEs vs 8 Z-95s isn't the issue. I question how well the 8 Z-95s will do against the Howlrunner swarm, as they don't exactly have a good replacement for Howlrunner.

 

Etahn A'baht works well

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Also, 36 pts doesn't tell you the full story, as you lack the full potential of 100pts. 8 TIEs vs 8 Z-95s isn't the issue. I question how well the 8 Z-95s will do against the Howlrunner swarm, as they don't exactly have a good replacement for Howlrunner.

 

Etahn A'baht works well

 

He's going to eat up alot of your points though and having faced e-wings i'm not sure he'd survive the first turn of shooting from the swarm.

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Also, 36 pts doesn't tell you the full story, as you lack the full potential of 100pts. 8 TIEs vs 8 Z-95s isn't the issue. I question how well the 8 Z-95s will do against the Howlrunner swarm, as they don't exactly have a good replacement for Howlrunner.

 

Etahn A'baht works well

 

He's going to eat up alot of your points though and having faced e-wings i'm not sure he'd survive the first turn of shooting from the swarm.

 

I imagine one way to help with that would be to take the named Pilots for the Headhunter too. That way you'd get some PS 6, 8 or both firing and getting those crits in, but still keep things cheap. 

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Also, 36 pts doesn't tell you the full story, as you lack the full potential of 100pts. 8 TIEs vs 8 Z-95s isn't the issue. I question how well the 8 Z-95s will do against the Howlrunner swarm, as they don't exactly have a good replacement for Howlrunner.

 

Etahn A'baht works well

 

He's going to eat up alot of your points though and having faced e-wings i'm not sure he'd survive the first turn of shooting from the swarm.

 

I imagine one way to help with that would be to take the named Pilots for the Headhunter too. That way you'd get some PS 6, 8 or both firing and getting those crits in, but still keep things cheap. 

 

Not really when you take more than one names your robbing yourself of the benefit of swarming.

 

Also lots of different PS means lots of different moves which can then lead to the formation getting broken apart losing more of its strength.

 

The strength of using all low PS ships is you can dictate the movement phase denying the other guy his actions when he slams into your ships and severely limiting what he can shoot. 

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I've played 7-8 Z swarms several times, and they lose most of the time against a variety of different squads.  2 Attack dice with no auto rerolls really doesn't help.  I think they will have an important spot in the new meta, but it will be just 1-3 of them in squads with other ships.

Vorpal Sword likes this

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The straight 5 and tight turn 1 are huge advantages for the tie fighter. The extra maneuvers get them into much better positions and allow them to block the movements of other ships better, while keeping their targets in firing arc.

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Flying a swarm squad well, takes special skills.  Not everyone can do it (avoid bumping into each other, deny opponent's action while flanking it w/ others & firing on it at range one.)   It takes lots of practice.

 

No squad is unbeatable (that is what makes X-Wing such a great game), but one can't deny that swarm squads have the highest winning % in combine stats of tourny played since 2012 (swarms has 40%+).    

 

Believe it or not - someone on the board has combined all the results from all the reported tourny played worldwide and their squad types and reported the winning %  of each meta. 

Edited by jpltanis

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Flying a swarm squad well, takes special skills.  Not everyone can do it (avoid bumping into each other, deny opponent's action while flanking it w/ others & firing on it at range one.)   It takes lots of practice.

 

No squad is unbeatable (that is what makes X-Wing such a great game), but one can't deny that swarm squads have the highest winning % in combine stats of tourny played since 2012 (swarms has 40%+).    

 

Believe it or not - someone on the board has combined all the results from all the reported tourny played worldwide and their squad types and reported the winning %  of each meta.

You're exactly right, swarms have been the Squads to beat for some time now. The only thing I would point out is, if you don't count the swarms that include Howlrunner that number all but vanishes. Howlrunner it what makes up the power of the swarm. I do believe there is room for a Z Swarm to be competitive but unlikely to see the same success as a Howlrunner Swarm.

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Flying a swarm squad well, takes special skills.  Not everyone can do it (avoid bumping into each other, deny opponent's action while flanking it w/ others & firing on it at range one.)   It takes lots of practice.

 

No squad is unbeatable (that is what makes X-Wing such a great game), but one can't deny that swarm squads have the highest winning % in combine stats of tourny played since 2012 (swarms has 40%+).    

 

Believe it or not - someone on the board has combined all the results from all the reported tourny played worldwide and their squad types and reported the winning %  of each meta.

You're exactly right, swarms have been the Squads to beat for some time now. The only thing I would point out is, if you don't count the swarms that include Howlrunner that number all but vanishes. Howlrunner it what makes up the power of the swarm. I do believe there is room for a Z Swarm to be competitive but unlikely to see the same success as a Howlrunner Swarm.
I don't know that Howlrunner makes up the power of the swarm. I think an Eight Tie Swarm has always been viable. The issue was Howlrunner was better and 7 Ties are cheaper than 8.
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Well I haven't played enough with the Z95 to know which one's "better", but I suspect I'll end up still preferring the Tie Fighter as the more fun ship to play.

 

I must say, there are some people here who seem to be asserting that because the die-maths apparently make the two ships about equal that they therefore are about equal.  I say not so - the dial and the actions (barrel roll vs target lock for example) make a huge difference, and I haven't seen any maths that says "on average you'll use a barrel roll or a speed one turn to get out of an arc roughly x times out of y".

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Well I haven't played enough with the Z95 to know which one's "better", but I suspect I'll end up still preferring the Tie Fighter as the more fun ship to play.

 

I must say, there are some people here who seem to be asserting that because the die-maths apparently make the two ships about equal that they therefore are about equal.  I say not so - the dial and the actions (barrel roll vs target lock for example) make a huge difference, and I haven't seen any maths that says "on average you'll use a barrel roll or a speed one turn to get out of an arc roughly x times out of y".

Barrel Roll, evade, and the dial differences just about make up for the fact the Z-95 is a whole lot less likely to be one shotted, and far less vulnerable to critical hits. Ties are great ships, but they are still really easy to blow up in one shot. Against a 4 dice attack(the first reasonably probable one shot location for a Z-95 a Tie fighter is getting one shotted 10% of the time with focus, while a Z95 is getting one shotted 4% of the time. Take away the focuses and the Z-95 is at 11% while the Tie has a 30% chance of getting one shotted.

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Well I haven't played enough with the Z95 to know which one's "better", but I suspect I'll end up still preferring the Tie Fighter as the more fun ship to play.

 

I must say, there are some people here who seem to be asserting that because the die-maths apparently make the two ships about equal that they therefore are about equal.  I say not so - the dial and the actions (barrel roll vs target lock for example) make a huge difference, and I haven't seen any maths that says "on average you'll use a barrel roll or a speed one turn to get out of an arc roughly x times out of y".

Barrel Roll, evade, and the dial differences just about make up for the fact the Z-95 is a whole lot less likely to be one shotted, and far less vulnerable to critical hits. Ties are great ships, but they are still really easy to blow up in one shot. Against a 4 dice attack(the first reasonably probable one shot location for a Z-95 a Tie fighter is getting one shotted 10% of the time with focus, while a Z95 is getting one shotted 4% of the time. Take away the focuses and the Z-95 is at 11% while the Tie has a 30% chance of getting one shotted.

I think they occupy the same price point, and will often be found in the same "filler" role, but they're different ships that do different things. I like it that way, honestly.

VanorDM and oddeye like this

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Well I haven't played enough with the Z95 to know which one's "better", but I suspect I'll end up still preferring the Tie Fighter as the more fun ship to play. I must say, there are some people here who seem to be asserting that because the die-maths apparently make the two ships about equal that they therefore are about equal.  I say not so - the dial and the actions (barrel roll vs target lock for example) make a huge difference, and I haven't seen any maths that says "on average you'll use a barrel roll or a speed one turn to get out of an arc roughly x times out of y".

Barrel Roll, evade, and the dial differences just about make up for the fact the Z-95 is a whole lot less likely to be one shotted, and far less vulnerable to critical hits. Ties are great ships, but they are still really easy to blow up in one shot. Against a 4 dice attack(the first reasonably probable one shot location for a Z-95 a Tie fighter is getting one shotted 10% of the time with focus, while a Z95 is getting one shotted 4% of the time. Take away the focuses and the Z-95 is at 11% while the Tie has a 30% chance of getting one shotted.
I think they occupy the same price point, and will often be found in the same "filler" role, but they're different ships that do different things. I like it that way, honestly.

Oh definitley. I just don't see the Z-95 as worse than the Tie fighter.

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