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Conandoodle

Please help me understanding torpedoes/missiles.

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Greetings ninjas,

 

As the title suggests, I need a lot of help in understanding the benefits of using rockets, torps and missiles. I have just started using them and really cannot see the benefit for the points. However, I see list builds that sometimes feature them. I am clearly in need of educating as I am obviously doing something wrong.

Of the torpedoes/missiles available we have / or will soon have the following:

Assault Missiles
Cluster Missiles
Concussion Missiles

Flechette Torpedoes
Homing Missiles

Ion Torpedoes

Proton Rockets
Proton Torpedoes

Advanced Proton Torpedoes

I tend to fly only Original Trilogy ships (often flying against OT Imperial fighters) and regardless of what I try, I can't help but think the points would be better spent elsewhere.

Can you please, pretty please, enlighten me as to which ordnance is most effective, some tips on how to them effectively and which should be left in the box?

Any feedback would be gratefully appreciated.

Regards

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The problem with ordinance is that it is a one shot deal and priced expensive for what it is. A HLC is 7 points and fires 4 dice all day long. A torpedo does 4 dice once for 4 points or a homing missile does 4 dice once without evade tokens working for 5 points!

 

Some missiles can work, but it tends to be in a limited way. Assault missiles and cluster missiles work to counter specific builds, so they pop up in squads where the player expects to face that kind of squad. (A.M. works vs swarms and C.M. works against YT-1300, B-wings, and Y-wings)

 

I'm of the belief that the game designers costed missiles/torpedoes to purposefully be expensive so that it would reflect more of a dogfight game, rather than a modern warfare game of locking up your opponent and launching missiles from across the board. By making them a bit on the expensive side it stops large swarms of ships ALL with missiles/torpedoes.

 

This may be changing as cheaper torpedoes/missile with better effects come into play. Flechette torpedoes are priced so low that it is hard not to toss one or two into a squad (where before you could only get one Proton).

 

The general consensus is to use them sparingly as once you get up to 15 points of missiles/torpedoes you are now weighing ordinance against the possibility of adding another ship.

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As Already said it's a chunk of points for one shot and the older versions are awkward to use.

If you have a pilot designed to use ordinance you just put missiles on him then build around him with complementary abilities.

Lists using alot of missiles rarely do that well from what I've seen.

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The control aspect is worth it for Flechette and Ion Torpedoes.

Assault Missiles are a good way to spread damage against a swarm but they are more costly.

 

It is the splash damage, I feel, that makes these things worth the points.

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Also, keep in mind that most of the disposable ordnance types work even better against HUGE ships in Epic play.  Most of these were actually intended (in terms of fluff/lore) for hunting "Big Game", not on being wasted against small, highly maneuverable targets like fighters.

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Conandoodle,

 

I don't think you're wrong. Ordnance is really hard to use, and it's probably not worth the points. I say that being someone who had made extensive use of TIE Bombers. That said, I've also had some really great moments with them, but I'm at the point of giving up on them.

 

I'm of the belief that the game designers costed missiles/torpedoes to purposefully be expensive so that it would reflect more of a dogfight game, rather than a modern warfare game of locking up your opponent and launching missiles from across the board. By making them a bit on the expensive side it stops large swarms of ships ALL with missiles/torpedoes.

 

I disagree. I don't think that the designers intended to make ordnance weaker in order to have players prefer dogfighting. I think the designers simply made a mistake by making most of them too expensive points-wise.

 

In order to fix that (somewhat), they gave us the munitions failsafes with the Z-95. These have gone a long way towards making ordnance better. There really were very few things that were as disappointing as firing off that 5 point torpedo and then having it miss because of a bum red-dice roll. However, I'm not convinced they're fully there though.

z0m4d and ralpher like this

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Thanks for your help everyone. I'm glad I'm not too far off the mark with them. Also, thanks for the recommendations regarding which ordinance to use (should one choose to take it).

 

The general consensus is to use them sparingly as once you get up to 15 points of missiles/torpedoes you are now weighing ordinance against the possibility of adding another ship.

This was my concern. It is a lot of points for 1 shot .. considering other goodies on could get.

 

 

why only OT ships?

Preference. I got into this game because I love Star Wars. I have read my share of SW novels, played my share of SW games and watched my share of SW animated TV shows .. none of it (with the exception of Stackpole's X-wing books) seems to interest me or fit in to my idea of the SW universe.

 

 

 

Also, keep in mind that most of the disposable ordnance types work even better against HUGE ships in Epic play.  Most of these were actually intended (in terms of fluff/lore) for hunting "Big Game", not on being wasted against small, highly maneuverable targets like fighters.

I have yet to play epic, although your point makes sense. As mentioned above, some of the missiles have a splash feature but most are for hitting a single target hard. I recall concussion missiles in the X-Wing games were good against fighters, whereas protons weren't. I feel there should be more balance in this area. Some missiles are good against the big fellas, some good against the little fellas - though I guess we see this to a degree with the 'splashy' ones.

 

In order to fix that (somewhat), they gave us the munitions failsafes with the Z-95. These have gone a long way towards making ordnance better. There really were very few things that were as disappointing as firing off that 5 point torpedo and then having it miss because of a bum red-dice roll. However, I'm not convinced they're fully there though.

So I have to buy a Z-95 to make ordinance more effective .. **** you FFG. Luckily I have miniaturemarket bookmarked.

I see your point regarding fun moments though. I get excited when I fire off a salvo. Will it hit, will it not, this has gotta take out that (insert fighter name here) .. but am always met with disappointment. 

 

 

The control aspect is worth it for Flechette and Ion Torpedoes.

Assault Missiles are a good way to spread damage against a swarm but they are more costly.

 

It is the splash damage, I feel, that makes these things worth the points.

I don't think I have these missiles/torps. Will look into play testing them with some mates before making a purchase though. Thanks for advice!

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Ordinance can be good to catch up if you are behind the damage race. Say to follow up after one bad dice rolling or if you had one turn where you had not shot. Concussion Missiles and Proton Torpedoes are in this category. Proton Torpedoes are better for getting critical hits with their ability and concussion missiles are better at getting more hits by turning a blank into a hit. Advanced Torpedoes take time to prepare to have more hits and are point heavy and short range.

 

Rebels have more Torpedoes ships while Imperials have more Missile Ships.

 

Cluster Missiles are good against those shield heavy B-wings with only 1 agility.

 

Assault Missiles are good against swarms.

 

Homing missiles are great against ships with evade actions, also since you don't spend the target lock you get to reroll all misses and un-modified focuses which is why it is the most expensive missile.

 

Ion Pulse Missiles were designed to ionized large ships which required 2 Ion tokens in order to suffer the effects.

 

Flechete Torpedoes are for stress builds which is good against Phantoms as it causes stress on low hull ships.

 

Ion Torpedoes are an Ion control options when coming up against swarms.

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As has been said, don't go looking for cost effectiveness in torpedoes and missiles; quite often, you won't find it.

 

What you're looking for with your ordnance is the ability to deliver a solid alpha (that is, first) strike. I think the very nature of this proposition also tends to put people off, because it is a high risk/high reward strategy, and what if it fails? Then you're left with a perhaps not very satisfying, uphill battle for the rest of the game, during which you'll constantly be rebutting yourself for not having invested your points in stuff that has more staying power. OR, you can completely wipe out your opponent in that first, cataclysmic strike, which might be fun once or twice, but even then you might start to wonder where the game - the fun, social event - went...

 

Combine this with the fact that the price of ordnance means you'll probably swing and miss more often than hit, and you'll see why ordnance isn't exactly the rave on the boards. I think the devs need to do something to make it a tad more interesting to load up your bombers with the payloads they were meant to carry, but I also understand they need to tread very carefully.

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The problem isn't just the high cost for one shot alone, but that they are a hassle to set up.  To get anything like your points worth out of them, they need to be fired with both a target lock and a focus, as generally your TL is "burned".

 

For most ships this takes 2 turns with the TL going first, so your opponent knows what you are trying to do.  And for many ships, if you can pull off that action combo, you might as well fire off a primary weapon shot that can take advantage of both the focus and the re-rolls.

 

My own fix is to allow the TL "spent" to fire the missile to also be used for a re-roll on the shot.  Might be overpowered and certainly goes against the rules, but aside from this I can't see ordnance as worth the hassle in most cases.

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In my opinion, the only ships where ordnance currently has a useful role are the A-Wing, Z95, TIE Advanced and TIE Bomber.

 

Y-Wings benefit more from turret upgrades.

X-Wings have 3 attack dice standard.

B-Wings have 3 attack dice standard and access to the Cannon slot..

 

...and so on.

 

Z95's, A-Wings, Advanced and Bombers however are all quite agile fighters, and as 2 attack dice ships can sometimes benefit from a trick up their sleeves.

 

Assault Missiles, Cluster Missiles, Flechette Torpedoes and Ion Pulse Missiles can all find a role on these ships.  Flechettes especially can be beastly when taken in numbers.

 

The problem these fighters still face however - even when paired with ordnance to increase their damage output or effects - is that there are more cost-effective options available elsewhere.

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Is Munitions Failsafe worthwhile? It gives you 2 chances to get a hit .. surely that'd have to be must if taking ordinance.

Edited by Conandoodle

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Is Munitions Failsafe worthwhile? It gives you 2 chances to get a hit .. surely that'd have to be must if taking ordinance.

It's limited yes you'll have a better chance of getting missiles off but you losing your upgrade slot, it really depends on the ship.

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Is Munitions Failsafe worthwhile? It gives you 2 chances to get a hit .. surely that'd have to be must if taking ordinance.

It's worth the extra point if you're using Assault Missiles or Ion Torpedoes, fired without any extra dice-rolling assistance.

 

You don't want your five point weapon coming up blanks.

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I'd say Munitions Failsafe is probably quite useful on Flechette Torpedoes as well.  Target high agility ships like Interceptors or Phantoms, if you do damage, great, if you don't, you've stressed them and can have another go...

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Missiles and torpedoes require one essential thing: forethought.

 

If you take the upgrade randomly in the hope that it will be useful, you probably will end up disappointed 85% of the time (and wishing for a hull, shield or stealth upgrade instead).  If, however, you plan the proper range, PS level and synergy (rerolls, focus from other sources, etc), then it can deal a crippling first strike to the enemy.

 

As a side note, the same applies for bombs... if you use them poorly, you're liable to blow yourself up... I've done that :P

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There are three major reasons you don't see many missiles:

1) Most people don't understand the math behind X-Wing. They're used to games like 40k where all that matters is how much damage you do on average. But that's not true in X-Wing, where what matters is the difference between attack and defense dice. So going from 3 red dice to 4 red dice can be much more than a 33% increase in firepower, especially if you also get to deny a range-3 defense die.

2) Getting target locks at low PS is hard, and the metagame favors having lots of generic pilots instead of 2-3 awesome aces. In the opening turns you'll often end your move outside range 3 and be unable to target lock, then have to watch helplessly as your target moves next and lands inside shooting range. And even when you do manage to get a lock you can have problems with deciding which target you're going to want to shoot at after your higher-PS pilots have fired. This is one of the main reasons the HLC is so much more popular even though it doesn't inflict any more damage than missiles/torps. You don't have to screw around with target locks, you just pick something and kill it when it's your turn to shoot.

3) The opportunity cost is often too high. For example, let's say we want a red squadron x-wing (PS 4 to help with the target lock issue and make sure it survives to shoot) with a proton torpedo. That's 27 points, which is only 2 points less than Wedge (a far superior option in most cases). But maybe we should give Wedge the torpedo? Now, assuming you pay for PTL/predator, you're spending 36 points on a single ship. And that means you're over the 33/33/33 split for a three-ace list and your other two ships aren't going to be top-level aces. Getting everything you want into a list can be very difficult, and the easiest way to make things fit is to cut upgrades that are nice to have but not strictly necessary. And most of the time missiles/torps are a luxury, not a necessity.

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2) Getting target locks at low PS is hard, and the metagame favors having lots of generic pilots instead of 2-3 awesome aces.

Which regional 'metagame' are you referring to?

 

How well do those squadrons using lots of generic pilots compete against elite Phantom squadrons?

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How well do those squadrons using lots of generic pilots compete against elite Phantom squadrons?

It generally favors generic ships. The phantom vs. counter-phantom war is one of the few exceptions. If/when phantoms cease to be a major factor in the metagame (perhaps because there are too many YT-1300 lists) then you're left with a game where the core mechanics usually favor taking quantity over quality.

(And this is one of the reasons why the phantom + ACD was a stupid design decision, that one ship has way too much impact on the metagame.)

Edited by iPeregrine

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The problem with ordnance was it was not costed with the fact that the ship that fires it misses its regular attack in the turn. Advanced proton torpedoes would be worth 6 points if they delivered 5 attack dice and didn't sacrifice an attack of 3-4 dice which normally would have taken place at range 1 without requiring a target lock. If you want to balance ordnance, let players attack with their normal attack in the same round.

This is a house rule of course and won't work in any competitive or tournament setting.

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It generally favors generic ships. The phantom vs. counter-phantom war is one of the few exceptions. If/when phantoms cease to be a major factor in the metagame (perhaps because there are too many YT-1300 lists)

So according to you the 'metagame':

1 - generally favours 'lots of generic pilots'.

2 - but not right now because the Phantoms are a 'major factor in the metagame'.

3 - but there are also 'too many YT-1300 lists'.

 

Those three points combined do not make any sense and show why discussions about 'metagames' are often worthless.

 

Every locality has different players who play different squadrons.

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There are basically 3 things munitions currently do.  They may do direct damage, splash damage, and inflict a state effect.  The original munitions (proton torpedoes, concussion missiles, cluster missiles) just did straight damage.  At the time, this was fine but now protons and concussions don't seem like they do enough for their cost, especially given the other options now available.  Most of the rest either have unique effects or are otherwise well costed.

 

The problem is that these original munitions set the bar for future munitions.  That said, FFG has shown that they are more than capable of making a bad card good by changing something in the environment a la munitions failsafe.  Here are some ideas of mine:

 

Heavy Bomber (Title), 0 points - When equipping two or more (missile) or (torpedo) upgrades, reduce the cost of those upgrades by 1.

 

Improved Targeting System (Modification), 1-2 points - When attacking with a secondary weapon that instructs you to spend a target lock, you may reroll some or all of your dice.

 

Multi Target Tracking System (Modification), 1-2 points - At the start of the combat phase, you may spend a target lock to acquire a target lock.

 

The idea behind the title is to make munitions cheaper for a few dedicated platforms, particularly the TIE bomber but also the Y and B.  The two modifications get around some of the main downsides of munitions. The first 'giving back' the target lock but only the the attack itself, while the second makes setting up a target lock easier.  Since the relock happens at the start of the combat phase, the opponent can still react to it, unlike Deadeye.  Also, since both of these are modifications, they cannot be stacked on any current munitions platform or combine with Munitions Failsafe.

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